The eight areas in the UK where workers are most likely to adopt a four-day week within the next decade have been revealed in a new think tank report.
Autonomy forecast that 28 per cent of the UK’s workforce will move to working 32 hours a week by 2033 thanks to advancements in artificial intelligence (AI).
The group has also mapped the local authority areas with the highest proportion of workers predicted to switch to a four-day week within the time period.
These areas, all in the South East, are the City of London, Kensington and Chelsea, Westminster, Elmbridge, Richmond upon Thames, Wandsworth, St Albans and Wokingham.
The report comes after Elon Musk told Rishi Sunak that AI will eventually mean no one will need to work, as Britain hosted a global summit at Bletchley Park earlier this month.
Autonomy said AI offers the opportunity to reduce mental and physical illness connected to work, as a result of the increase in leisure time for employees. It could also increase worker productivity while maintaining pay and performance, the group said.
Will Stronge, director of research at Autonomy, said: “Our research offers a fresh perspective in debates around how AI can be utilised for good.
“A shorter working week is the most tangible way of ensuring that AI delivers benefits to workers as well as companies. If AI is to be implemented fairly across the economy, it should usher in a new era of four-day working weeks for all.”
Earlier this year, Professor Christopher Pissarides – a Nobel Prize-winning economist at the London School of Economics – said “we could move to a four-day week easily” with the assistance of AI.
Last year, businesses in the UK took part in the world’s biggest four-day-week pilot, involving 61 companies and 2,900 workers. At the end of the six-month trial, almost every company decided to continue with the four-day working pattern.
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