AUSTIN (KXAN) — Amid the pandemic and a general shift in how we got to work, a new proposal is gaining traction: a four-day workweek. Earlier this year, the city of Keller, Texas shifted to a four-day workweek, and last year a bill was even proposed in the U.S. House of Representatives.

So what’s the deal? Researchers with the UT Haslam College of Business have found a shorter workweek improves productivity, reduces burnout and helps people relax when they’re not working. Plus, it forces people to focus on outcomes instead of the process required to get there.

There may be an additional benefit: fighting climate change.

Meteorologist Rich Segal sat down with Charlotte Lockhart from 4 Day Work Week Global to discuss the impact a shorter week would have on the climate. You can read that interview below.

Segal: Charlotte is the founder and CEO of 4 Day Work Week Global. Tell me about 4 Day Work Week Global?

Lockhart: Okay, so we are an organization that was set up by Andrew Barnes and myself, we took to have conversations around the world about how we have productivity-focused workplaces that enable us to reduce work time without reducing pay. So the one that most people recognize is the four-day week.

We also support businesses and want to do some other form of reduced hours, working 32 hours or some other form, because it’s about understanding why reducing the amount of time that we work is better for our health, our society and our planet.

What we’re doing is we’re working with companies where there is some staff that might take Mondays off, others will take Wednesdays off, some businesses are open five or seven days, and they just reduce the amount of time that people are at work to six hours.

So it’s about finding the balance between what the business needs, its customers’ needs and what their people need. And working out how to do that.

Segal: What is the correlation between the four-day workweek and our climate?

Lockhart: Well, interestingly, what we have seen, particularly through the pandemic, is all the benefits of us not getting in our cars to go to work. So that’s all quite known. And actually, there was a piece of research that came out of the U.K. that said that if the UK shifted to a four-day week, it would be the equivalent of taking every single private car off the roads.

Segal: Do you have an example of a business or a government municipality where this has been verified?

Lockhart: There are literally thousands of companies around that are reducing work time and having the productivity benefits. There are a number of them, including our own company, Perpetual Guardian, that has been doing it for quite some years as well. So it’s not just something that is easy to do for a few months, it’s actually something that you can have as a sustainable business practice.

Segal: What is the negative that people might be throwing back at you in your discussions on how this is actually very beneficial?

Lockhart: No, I mean, people are negative about things they don’t understand. And so, you know, the people say, ‘oh, that’ll never work in my business or never work in my industry.’ However, there are businesses in pretty much every single industry around the globe who are doing the reduced time process of some form.

It comes down to actually how agile the business leaders are and how ready they are to adapt to change.