The list of countries and companies that have decided to start a short working week is getting longer. On the other hand, the benefits of a shorter work week are numerous: this way you have more free time to devote to yourself and your family; Moreover, the level of productivity, not a negligible factor, will be higher. In addition to fighting stress and burnout, going to the office for only four days instead of five helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The paradigm is intuitive: it consumes less, it pollutes less.
Here are some experiences.
Scotland, Thanks to a government pilot project, the four-day work week was first introduced last year. Local institutions have chosen to support all companies that wish to experience a 20% reduction in their employees’ work time.
Belgium, It is one of the European states that from this year its citizens will be allowed to work only four days a week (without any reduction in pay, even if the total number of hours does not vary). Employees have the option of requesting a reduction in working days by offering to work more hours during the shorter week, and to change the distribution of work hours during the week to every seven days: this way they can spend more time on the shorter week. can take advantage. Return to the traditional work week as and when needed.
Iceland, On the island, the four-day work week proved to be a tremendous success. The first tests conducted in Reykjavik between 2014 and 2019 involved childcare and service workers as well as nursing home workers. The second, carried out between 2017 and 2021, involved public employees from several national government agencies. From a study conducted in the country, it emerged that there has been a significant improvement in the well-being of workers based on a range of indicators without any loss in productivity or quality of services provided.
Spain, Last year the Spanish government decided to launch a pilot project lasting from 39 hours to 32 hours, keeping wages unchanged. The main focus is on improving the mental health of workers and reducing the risk of burnout.
United Kingdom, This year around thirty companies in the British country will take part in a project coordinated by the non-profit organization ‘4 Day Week Global’. It aims to give employees an extra day off without negatively affecting productivity.
United Arab Emirates, I am the first country in the world to introduce a four and a half day work week. The days devoted to work here fall to 4.30 a.m. Monday through Friday.
Japan, The world’s third largest economy is also encouraging shorter working days. Already in 2019, the Microsoft company decided to give its employees one more extra day in a week. And the use increased the productivity by 40%.
Italy, In our country, however, working four days instead of five remains a utopia at the moment.
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