four day work week

  • Initial reports show a 21% reduction in mental health and stress levels

  • 85% said they would not change jobs if there was less than a 20% salary increase

One of the four-day week pilot programs in Portugal, together with the United Kingdom and Valencia, is already starting to yield first findings about their impact. 41 companies and over 1,000 employees Who participated in the trial.

Preliminary studies on the Portuguese four-day work week project, which began in June 2023, indicate that employees of companies that took advantage of the program improved their physical and mental health during the months of the trial.

The report, which is still in progress and estimated Will be completed in April 2024, based on data provided by 200 employees as well as responsible people of the companies participating in the pilot. 95% of companies agreed that the changes they made for this project were positive. According to staff, the most notable improvements that occurred during that period were in terms of mental and physical health.


Less stress, fewer sick days, more commitment

According to Dr. Pedro Gomes and Dr. Rita Fontinha, project coordinators, in charge of collecting and analyzing the data, the first signs of improvement could already be detected among the participants in the first three months. Anxiety, stress and depressive conditions were reduced 21%, insomnia 19% and feeling of loneliness 14% respectively.

Having more free time allowed employees to invest it in physical and leisure activities. The number of employees who never played sports due to lack of time decreased from 27% to 14.5% and the number of employees who previously complained of not being able to balance work and family life decreased from 46% to 8%. .

Talent retention also improved significantly, as employees valued the reduction in working hours positively. 85% of them said they would be willing to change jobs if offered a five-day working day At least 20% increase in salary Compared to what they had at that time.

Unlike the one the Ministry of Industry is planning to launch, the pilot program developed in Portugal does not have any type of institutional support that could alter financial results, so the data it provides is used to determine growth. Will be especially valuable for. The productivity and viability of the companies that have been part of this experiment.

Portuguese pilot testing follows Model 100-80-100 Which the non-profit organization 4 Day Week Global is implementing in Germany, South Africa and other countries around the world, in which 100% of employees’ salaries are retained, 100% productivity is maintained, 80% of the working day is with. In this case, given that some companies were already using a working day format of less than 40 hours, the actual reduction in working hours is not the usual 20% but 13.7%.

To adapt to the new working day format, companies faced some work organizational changes, including choosing asynchronous models for meetings, creating work blocks or changing management software to optimize processes.

According to preliminary studies, changes better human resource management, “The most frequently cited reason is lower stress levels among workers. Furthermore, we can see that this measure helps to solve specific problems, such as increasing the ability to recruit and retain workers. “Many companies consider it an alternative to salary increases,” say the authors of the data study.

In Xataka A Spanish union leader has said the four-day week doesn’t work. Statistics say something else

Image | Pexels (NextVoyage, Filipe de Azevedo)

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