Most full-time employees in Germany work five days a week. A large-scale study shows that a four-day week would often be preferable.
Munich- That a four-day week boosts employee morale, is not a surprise. However, the fact that despite reduced working hours, it leads to greater productivity and increased company sales should make employers sit up and take notice: A large-scale study of the initiative in non-profit”4 day global week“neighborhood.
Almost all companies in the pilot project want to keep the four-day week
Last February, it launched an international pilot project with 33 companies and nearly 1,000 employees from the United States, Australia, Ireland, Great Britain, New Zealand and Canada. They tried a four-day week – that’s 32 hours a week – for six months with no loss of income.
The result: The number of employee sick days has decreased – along with their feelings of anxiety and stress. On the other hand, the productivity and sales of the participating companies have increased. This is why almost all companies in the pilot project now want to keep the four-day week – almost two-thirds have already made a firm decision to do so, while the rest are considering switching. Either way, the study’s authors see their findings as a signal to employers who introduce a four-day week.
However, to ensure that the move from 40 to 32 hours per week actually works for all employees in all companies, the pilot project included a two-month preparatory phase during which those involved were coached for a week of four days. It was mainly small companies with less than 50 employees who took part. The project will also be implemented in Europe and South Africa in the coming months.
New work models are becoming increasingly important: “Measure results – not time”
In Germany, where the world of work is facing fundamental changes due to the shortage of skilled workers, experts also advise employers to meet the needs of employees and rethink working time models. “Companies must radically change the way they work and live. You have to seduce people,” says Stefan Schaible of the board of management consultants Roland Berger.
“Any employer who has not yet understood that they need to invest in their people will have enormous difficulties.” Schaible is convinced that companies can no longer be satisfied with standard working time models. “Companies need to think a lot more about the biographical wishes of their employees,” he advises.
Christina Raab, president of the Accenture country group Germany, Austria and Switzerland, fills the same gap. Accenture is one of the world’s largest service providers in business and strategy consulting. “Measure results, not time,” recommends Raab. “We need to see working life in a more flexible way: not necessarily like a five-day week between 20 and 60but a much more flexible staggering throughout life until old age.
With dpa material
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