A UK company has introduced a four-day working week for its employees in the hope it will 'give staff more time to focus on themselves'.
In light of the global pandemic, many companies' working practices have been upended, with many taking a hard look at what working from home and different working hours can do for their employees.
Manchester Evening News reports that Wigan-based Belmont Packaging, which specialises in plain and printed corrugated cardboard, has joined them and opted for a four-day working week.
The company, along with its e-commerce sister business, Boxed-Up, had actually trialled the four-day week in its manufacturing department before the pandemic in late 2019 with the aim of 'giving staff more time to focus on themselves, their mental health and their loved ones'.
It's been so successful that the company will now roll it out to the business' full staff cohort of 31 this coming week onwards.
Commercial manager Gareth Rollo said: "As well as valuing our customers, business trade partners and suppliers we also value our biggest assets, the employees whose hard work, commitment and dedication make our business the success it is.
"In order to further recognise this, and to lead the way in employee health and wellbeing, we are delighted to announce an industry-leading change to ways of working which is intended to give our employees a better work-life balance while allowing us to continue giving our customers the first-class products and service they are accustomed to."
The news comes just weeks after Scotland said it too would be trialling a four-day working week as a result of research by Public Policy Research (IPPR) Scotland.
The research found that 80 percent of people believed that cutting their number of days at work - with no loss of pay - would have a 'positive effect on their wellbeing'.
The survey also found that 88 percent would be willing to take part in trial schemes being set up by ministers at Holyrood.
As such, pilots are being staged, with the SNP having pledged a £10 million fund for companies trialling a four-day week.
A Scottish Government spokesman said: "The pandemic has served to intensify interest in and support for more flexible working practices, which could include a shift to a four-day working week.
"Reductions in the working week might help sustain more and better jobs, and enhance wellbeing.
"We are in the early stages of designing a £10 million pilot that will help companies explore the benefits and costs of moving to a four-day working week.
"The pilot will allow us to develop a better understanding of the implications of a broader shift to a shorter working week across the economy."
Rachel Statham, senior research fellow at IPPR Scotland, said: "The Scottish Government is right to be trialling a four-day working week because today's evidence shows that it is a policy with overwhelming public support, and could be a positive step towards building an economy hardwired for wellbeing.
"But any successful transition post-Covid-19 must include all kinds of workplaces, and all types of work. The full-time, nine-to-five office job is not how many people across Scotland work - and shorter working time trials need to reflect that reality.
"So we must examine what shorter working time looks like from the perspective of shift workers, those working excessive hours to make ends meet, or those who currently have fewer hours than they would like to have."
Featured Image Credit: Belmont Packaging