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Spain Is Set To Begin Testing A 4-Day Work Week Later This Year

Studies find that countries with shorter working weeks are more productive.
18 Mar 2021, 07:00 AM
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Main image via Medium + SnackNation
 
Many around the world are struggling to maintain a good work-life balance, especially with the pandemic and the new normal in the past year.
 
While some of us may have seen blurred lines between working hours from home, there are some who are working to help employees out in the best way.

A four-day work week.

via GIPHY

 

Spurred by the pandemic, Spain is currently working on introducing a four-day working week that could be implemented as early as autumn (September to November) this year.
 
The proposed plan of a shorter working week that aims to boost employment and increase productivity during working hours, was put forward by Más País, a small left-wing political party, and has now been accepted by Spain’s government.
 
Iñigo Errejón, the party’s president, shared the good news on Twitter writing, “We did it! We have agreed with the Government to promote a pilot project to reduce working hours. European funds should also serve to reorient the economy towards improving health, caring for the environment and increasing productivity.”
 

via GIPHY

 

A study carried out by the Trades Union Congress in 2019 found that those in countries with shorter working weeks are more productive.
 
Denmark, for example, has the shortest working in week in Europe and the study found that employees are 23.5% more productive than they are in the UK.
 
According to The Guardian, this argument was brought forward by Más País which contends that working more hours does not mean working better.
 
“Spain is one of the countries where workers put in more hours than the European average,” Iñigo said. “But we’re not among the most productive countries.”
 

via GIPHY

 

Speaking to the Mirror, Maria Alvarez, the founder of the 4 Day Week Campaign in Spain, shared that the pilot is a “sensible idea that should be in every government’s toolbox coming out of [the coronavirus] crisis.”
 
“What this pilot reveals is that the four-day week has never been a moonshot,” she added. “Quite the opposite.”
 
Though the pilot programme has been accepted by the government, a source within Spain’s industry ministry told The Guardian that talks are in the initial stages and much is still up for debate.
 
This includes how much the pilot programme could cost, how many companies will be involved and when the programme will be rolled out.
 

via GIPHY

 

Más País’ proposal has set out a three-year pilot that will cost the government an estimated €50 million (RM245 million).
 
Under the proposed plans, the Spanish government will cover 100% of costs or losses companies incur by implementing the four-day working week in the first year. This will reduce to 50% in the second year and to 33% in the third year.
 
“With these figures, we calculate that we could have around 200 companies participate, with a total of anywhere from 3,000 to 6,000 workers,” Héctor Tejero a member of the party said. “The only red lines are that we want to see a true reduction of working hours and no loss of salary or jobs.”
 

via GIPHY

 

We’re excited to see Spain’s results with the four-day work week and we’re hoping that maybe this plan would be imposed in Malaysia too!
 
What are your thoughts on a shorter work week? Do you think there’ll be an increase in productivity? Let us know your thoughts!

 
 
Info via UNILAD

 

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