23 February 2024
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What seemed like a utopia is now closer to becoming a reality, the four-day working day is already being generally considered for about two years from now and, in the meantime, there are already companies that have done their own pilot tests. For now, there are opinions on everything, so if you are also one of those who are willing to do this experiment, keep reading this post; we will see the possible pros and cons of this progressive measure and we will contrast different points of view.
The methodology of the 4-day working day in Spain is based on a 100-80-100 model, i.e. 100% pay, 80% hours, 100% productivity, i.e. under no circumstances should it be confused with the accumulation of 40 hours a week in four days, but rather reducing them to 32.
This pilot project, which begins as the star proposal for improvements in the workplace, promoted by the Ministry of Industry, has already begun; offering economic aid for SMEs that reduce their workers’ working hours and champion the change. Specifically, this programme will give up to 150.000 € to each company and will benefit between 60 and 70 SMEs, which will have to maintain this working day for at least two years in order to see long-term results, but there’s more! Interested companies will have to cut their weekly working hours by at least 10% and will have to maintain the four-day working time reduction for two years, but in no case will this lead to a reduction in the pay received by employees. Therefore, there would be no reduction in salaries and no reduction in holidays in this 4-day working day model. The main idea is to maintain productivity with a better work-life balance for employees.
Several companies have already joined this pilot initiative in Spain and some, such as Software Delsol, highlight their good experience. A more committed workforce, increased efficiency and a better working environment are some of the benefits they report.
Other companies, such as Growara, a business consultancy, have not only joined this new modality, but also help other entities to implement it. What they do is propose strategies for adapting to change, offer training in the use of new technological tools that streamline processes and propose new models of team hierarchies in which leadership is more oriented, collaborative work is encouraged and emphasis is placed on efficient communication.
However, although most of the companies that have tried short-time working have had a satisfactory experience, not all of them share a good opinion of it. For example, according to Amazon and Ryanair managers, the reduced working hours affected customer service, increasing complaints about delays in orders or lack of support staff.
The origin of the four-day working day took place in France in 1993, initiated and promoted by Pierre Larrouturou, who proposed a law promoted by Gilles de Robien. Larrouturou argued that the four-day working week could be applied as a remedy against the global economic crisis. This idea was the embryo of what, years later, would lead Prime Minister Lionel Jospin to approve in 1998 the reduction of the working week from 39 to 35 hours as of the year 2000 in France, allowing many workers to benefit from four-day weeks.
As you know, Spain is not the only country to have implemented this initiative; these are the conclusions that have been drawn at global level.
We hope that with this post you have been able to dispel some doubts about the 4-day working day, subscribe to Educa.Pro and learn more about the areas that interest you the most!