05 December 2017 | Herpreet Kaur Grewal
New technologies including artificial intelligence, augmented reality and the internet of things will lead to the work day being only four hours long by 2050, according to a new report.
The study by futurist James Wallman and online business directory, Yell, argues that the current work day was set up to squeeze as much as possible out of workers when they performed routine tasks in factories and offices.
But emerging research "suggests that 8-hour days are a suboptimal way to work - the optimum is far closer to 4 hours per day. As robots and 'cobots' perform more of the routine tasks, humans will become more creative. And the best way to be creative is to work around four hours per day. This radical change will also have huge benefits on our health and wellbeing, as well as balancing family life".
The report also focuses on a further six key trends predicted by Wallman, including the 'Cobot Revolution': a world where humans work collaboratively with robots in all industries, a key aspect of making a four hour work day possible.
Tim Antos, founder of sleep aiding headphones, Kokoon Technology says there is a need for everyone to get enough sleep and "shorter working hours will allow that to happen, and that will have a huge knock-on effect with productivity".
Sarah Slade, working mum and co-owner of mood-boosting candle brand, SevenSeventeen, added": "With the help of cobots, getting the most out of our time should become easier. As business owners, there will undoubtedly always be the unavoidable call at 9pm or having to pop in to the office at the weekend - but ultimately, it's flexibility we see as being the most important game changer in the future of business."