Four-day working week tested in Spain: experiment shows unexpected results
An experiment to introduce a four-day workweek has ended in Valencia, Spain. The results are in: employees reported a significant reduction in stress and improved health, and employers did not observe any decrease in work efficiency. In addition, it turned out that the shorter work week has a positive impact on the environment.
The experiment in Valencia was unusual - it lasted only a month, Euronews writes. Thus, the Valencia City Council conducted the test from April to May 2023.
This period was chosen because there were already three additional days off on these dates (due to holidays). Therefore, during the experiment, only one new day off was introduced to make a full month of four-days.
After the study, those who participated reported a 35% reduction in stress levels and a 64% improvement in sleep quality. In addition, 72% of participants said they spent more time with friends, 37% said they increased their physical activity, and 46% read more.
In addition, some environmental improvements were also noted in Valencia during the test month. In particular, traffic in the city decreased by 9.5% and the concentration of nitrogen oxide in the air fell by 58%.
However, according to the local authorities, there were also disadvantages. In particular, during the experiment, alcohol and tobacco consumption increased in Valencia. However, analysts consider this a minor drawback, as the revenue of restaurants and leisure companies has increased.
"Our main goal was to obtain new evidence of the potential benefits that reducing working hours can have on the urban environment. The study was a huge success and provided significant empirical evidence of the positive impact of a four-day workweek on workers' health and city-wide dynamics," said Joan Ribot, former mayor of Valencia and spokesperson for the Compromís coalition at City Hall.
He added that the results of the trials are a "new milestone" for the promotion of the four-day workweek in Spain and beyond. By the way, testing of such projects has brought positive results in other countries.
In particular, the largest study conducted in the UK included 33 companies. And none of them wanted to return to a five-day workweek. The firms found that productivity remained stable, while employee satisfaction increased dramatically.
Earlier, OBOZ.UA told about the countries with four-day working week in Europe. Experiments have been conducted in many countries: what they showed.