Working less hours each week will help boost the economy by creating more jobs and improving quality of life, according to a think tank.
The New Economics Foundation (NEF) will meet with other experts at an event in London this week to find a solution to unemployment, the credit crisis and reducing the country"s carbon footprint.
The NEF, which has organised the gathering with the Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion at the London School of Economics, said their solution to the problem would be enforcing a 20-hour working week.
The foundation has previously suggested a similar strategy and said the move would mean people had more time to think about the effect they are having on the environment and that it would allow for job sharing.
It admitted that incomes would be reduced dramatically but argued individuals would have more time to carry out worthy tasks.
Parents could spend more time with their children or other dependents and there would be more opportunity to get involved with civic duties or charity work.
Anna Coote, co-author the report, told the Observer: "There"s a great disequilibrium between people who have got too much paid work, and those who have got too little or none.
"Are we just living to work, and working to earn, and earning to consume?"
She argued that the government needed to think about what constitutes economic success and whether aiming to boost Britain"s GDP growth rate should be a priority.
The UK has the longest working week of any major European economy and economists believed, in time, that as technology improved people would be able to spend less time at work.
Parents of young children already have the right to request more flexible work hours but the NEF is keen to push the government to make this a right for everyone.