Scotland is set to trial a four-day week without loss of pay, drawing from experience of other countries’ experience in Iceland and New Zealand.

This news will be welcomed by employees and a number of trials have shown that shorter working weeks can increase productivity and staff wellbeing.

So, could four-day working weeks be the key to success for Norfolk businesses in the future?

Blink SEO, an eCommerce digital marketing agency based in Norwich, decided to trial a four-day week in 2018 after hearing reports of other businesses taking this approach in America and New Zealand.

Operations Director James Macnamara, 31, said: "We wanted to explore four-day working weeks because it aligns with our business values - giving staff more freedom, autonomy and encouraging a healthier work-life balance."

It has been well-received from staff, and a recent survey was "overwhelmingly positive" with one employee describing it as "life-changing".

Eastern Daily Press: Blink SEO adopted a four-day working week in 2018Blink SEO adopted a four-day working week in 2018 (Image: Archant)

"It has a knock-on effect on everything" said Mr Macnamara, who sees a four-day week as part of a wider cultural change of business practice. "We have tripled in size since and have attracted really good talent, which helps bring in new clients. If we had not implemented it, we would not have grown in the same way that we have."

Another Norfolk business who has adopted a four-day working week is Norwich firm, Triple Bottom Line Accounting.

They have seen similar success since adopting a four-day week, with turnover growing by 60pc last year and their team doubling in size.

Director Dr Peter Ellington, 63, sees it as part of a wider approach towards being a successful modern business, including being a living wage employer and keeping environmental and social issues within their agenda.

"We want to empower our staff, where everyone has a voice and is a leader where they need to be. The four-day working week is just one part of our efforts to be a socially-conscious business that is not just profit-oriented.

This makes us more attractive as a business to employees, and we now have a better quality, and diverse, pool of staff. By paying people appropriate wages and offering good working terms and conditions, staff are empowered because they enjoy their work and space between work."