Working four days a week and earning just as much money as before – for many people that’s just a bold idea. 45 companies and organizations are now trying out the four-day week.
In a large pilot project, 45 companies in Germany are testing the four-day week for six months. Most of them are starting the project phase this month, as the initiator, the management consultancy Intraprenör, announced. 15 percent of the participating companies had already made the switch at the turn of the year. 20 percent were preparing for a March 1 launch.
According to Intraprenör, more than half of the companies have between 10 and 49 employees. The most strongly represented industry is “IT and technology” (14 percent). But: Crafts and industrial companies (6 percent each) are also represented.
The initiators are working with the organization 4 Day Week Global on the project. The NGO has already taken the project in a similar form to various other countries. It is scientifically supported by the University of Münster. Participating companies should follow the 100-80-100 model: 100 percent performance 80 percent of the time with 100 percent pay.
One of the participants is the IT service provider Nacura from Paderborn. “For us there were two main arguments: firstly, the work-life balance, and the second point is employee retention and acquisition,” said Markus Nölker from the Nacura management of the German Press Agency. Of the 23 employees, only two remained at their previous working hours. Every employee could make the decision voluntarily.
“There were a lot of worries about whether you would be able to do the current job in four days or whether you would spend more money if you were always free on Fridays,” says Nölker. After many discussions and a long period of reflection, the employees ultimately clearly voted in favor of the experiment in an anonymous vote.