Could working week be shortenedCutting the working week to 21 hours could help to boost retention, employment and the economy, a UK think tank has proposed.

A report from the New Economics Foundation (NEF) has predicted a shorter working week may soon been inevitable, but is also likely to have numerous benefits for managers and HR professionals.

The think tank suggests the working week could decrease as a result of the recent recession and banking crisis, a growing divide in society – where some people are over-working while unemployment is still increasing – and a need to reduce the consumption which is damaging the environment.

However, all of these issues could be tackled by cutting the number of hours people work on average each week, it has suggested.

Anna Coote, co-author of the report and head of social policy at NEF, said: “We could even become better employees: less stressed, more in control, happier in our jobs and more productive.

“It is time to break the power of the old industrial clock, take back our lives and work for a sustainable future.”

The Government Equalities Office recently suggested more flexible jobs could help to ease unemployment levels – particularly for women – in the UK.