Spain is testing out a four-day workweek for employees.
The European nation is introducing a government-approved four-day work trial with an aim to promote a better work-life balance. Spain joins a number of companies in countries like New Zealand, Sweden and Japan to promote a longer weekend in previous years.
Spanish political party Más País said its proposal to test run the 32-hour workweek was approved by the government, The Guardian reported. It argues that working longer doesn't always mean working smarter.
“Spain is one of the countries where workers put in more hours than the European average. But we’re not among the most productive countries,” the president of Más País, Íñigo Errejón said as reported by the outlet. “I maintain that working more hours does not mean working better.”
The goal is to enroll 200 companies to participate in the test run with up to 6,000 workers, according to the Guardian.
The proposal – a three-year trial run -- to shorten work weeks would cost nearly $60 million, and, according to Más País, could be funded 100% for the first year. The program is reportedly going to start this fall.
A number of companies have tested out shorter work weeks and found employees were actually more productive. Microsoft piloted a four-day workweek experiment in Japan in 2019 closing offices on Fridays and found employees sold nearly 40% more for the company, while it reduced overhead spending costs according to its “Work-Life Choice Challenge” report.
Similarly, New Zealand, the wealth management company New Zealand Perpetual Guardian noticed a 24% improvement in work when it allowed employees to work for 32 hours per week instead of 40 without cutting their pay in 2018.