Closed shops and offices will be common in Valencia on Mondays in April. The city is testing a four-day-only-a-week model. We used to work six days. Monday to Friday is fine, but work only four days? It’s like not working at all, “thinks a resident of the Spanish town.
The aim is to find out the impact of working hours on the economy, the environment and the mental health of employees. Valencia will publish the results of the analysis in July, and then employers and trade unions will sit down at the negotiating table.
Same salary, less layoffs
In June, they will start a similar test in Portugal. Portuguese Labor Minister Ana Medicova Godinho stated: “The salaries of employees should not be cut, for us it is unacceptable.”
They have already completed exams in Sweden or the British Isles. In the UK, 3,000 employees took part in a pilot project last year – praising, for example, the greater work-life balance. One British employee praised: “One day off during the week gives me more time to recover and rejuvenate after an emotionally demanding and demanding job.”
61 companies tested Free Friday or Wednesday in the UK. The vast majority of them intend to continue this year as well. Labor productivity has not decreased, on the contrary, layoffs have decreased.
Four working days a week in the Czech Republic?
According to the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, there are no plans yet to introduce a shorter working week across the country. However, a number of companies provide the possibility of scheduling work within four days or the so-called home office. More than a third of workers have tried it during the covid pandemic.
“A four-day work week is probably feasible and I can imagine it in a wide range of office or administrative jobs,” admits Ladislav Minčič of the Czech Republic Chamber of Commerce.
According to HR expert Eva Heglova, the introduction of four-day working hours is positive for both parties. “The employee has more time to manage their own affairs, they definitely feel less stressed and they are more creative because they have to spread their work out to do what they would normally do in five days. This is an interesting benefit for employers, they are more competitive the moment you offer. If the employees have the possibility of working for four days, they would certainly prefer to inform you about it.
However, he considers that adapting the work to the life cycle is the best option, i.e. making the work flexible. “This is, for example, shorter working hours, or the possibility of working longer one day and shorter the next, corresponding to what I have to do,” added Hejlová at Horizont at ČT24.
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