National gardening leave: why Britain would be better off if we all spent less time at the office

National gardening leave: why Britain would be better off if we all spent less time at the office
Document type
Paper
Author(s)
Simms, Andrew; Conisbee, Molly
Publisher
New Economics Foundation
Date of publication
1 October 2012
Subject(s)
People management: all aspects of managing people, Trends: economic, social and technology trends affecting business
Collection
Business and management
Material type
Reports

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This pamphlet argues that Britain would be better off if we all spent less time at the office. It makes the case for a new, voluntary scheme to introduce a shorter working week: the National Gardening Leave. The proposal calls for adapting a wide range of available spaces for the rapid expansion of gardening, both productive and aesthetic, in Britain's towns and cities. The authors argue that this would make people happier and healthier. It would make the economy more resilient, better positioned for the challenges of the modern world, and better protected from external food and energy price shocks. It would also make communities stronger and more convivial places to live. Giving people entering new jobs (and, where possible, those in existing jobs) the option of working a four day week – something which is standard practice in the Netherlands, for example – brings potential multiple benefits to individuals, workplaces, communities, the environment and the economy.

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