National Gardening Leave – Why Britain Would Be Better Off If We All Spent Less Time at the Office

The case for a new, voluntary scheme to introduce a shorter working week, and for the rapid expansion of productive and pleasurable gardening in Britain’s towns and cities.


Executive Summary

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The Proposal – National Gardening Leave: for a stronger, healthier and happier Britain.

This pamphlet argues that Britain will 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 referred to as National Gardening Leave. And it 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.

We argue that this will leave people happier, healthier and better equipped for our challenging times. It will make the economy more resilient, better positioned for the modern world, and more protected from external food and energy price shocks. It will 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.

It is time to reap the benefits in taking the next logical step in the historical trend toward a shorter, conventional working week. In the new time made available, gardening wouldn’t be compulsory or the only choice of what to do, but it is already incredibly popular and we believe, an important and attractive option.