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One in three Brits would ‘take pay cut to work a four-day week’

A third of Brits would take a pay cut to work a four-day week, a new poll suggests.

UK employees surveyed by peer-to-peer lender Zopa said they would sacrifice an average of 7% of their salary to work one day less every week.

Six in 10 of the 1,500 people surveyed reported that their work-life balance was suffering from their current working habits.

Just under two-thirds said they were not paid enough for the hours they worked, while almost half of those paid a bonus said they would swap it for more time off.

A good work-life balance was the second most important feature of any job highlighted by participants, just behind a good salary.

The idea of moving to a four-day week is not likely to be embraced by many businesses, but research suggests it could be less damaging to productivity than widely assumed.

It received prominent backing last month from two economic experts involved in the World Economic Forum (WEF) conference at Davos, Switzerland.

Psychologist Adam Grant and economist Rutger Bregman said a three-day weekend would not only make workers happier and reduce stress, but also increase staff productivity and loyalty.

They said one study had even shown a 20% rise in productivity among staff.

Adam Grant, based at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, said: “I think we have some good experiments showing that if you reduce work hours, people are able to focus their attention more effectively.

“They end up producing just as much, often with higher quality and creativity, and they are also more loyal to the organisations that are willing to give them the flexibility to care about their lives outside of work.”