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Friday, 23 August, 2002, 12:20 GMT 13:20 UK
Happy staff help firm thrive
Tired man
Hard work does not necessarily produce better results
A Birmingham firm has seen its revenue rise by cutting hours for workers and encouraging them to take a lunch break.

Managers at Charles Fellowes Recruitment say that allowing staff to work less is good for business.


It's completely the opposite of your intuition, that longer hours are good. Actually they're not - shorter hours are much better

Anthony Tomkins
Charles Fellowes
Despite the cut-throat image of the recruitment sector, desks at the firm are usually empty during lunchtime and staff head home on time.

Surveys have shown more than four million Britons work longer than a 48-hour week, but our productivity is lower than our main European rivals.

'Brilliant results'

The regime at the firm changed five years ago.

The office was given a feng shui makeover, and fish tanks were brought in along with plants.

Since then the firm has performed better than in the previous 12 years.

Charles Fellowes spokesman Anthony Tomkins said: "With the introduction of shorter working hours and lunch hours we've seen brilliant results.

"It's completely the opposite of your intuition, that longer hours are good. Actually they're not - shorter hours are much better."

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