In the Spanish city of Valencia, an experiment with a four-day workweek took place. Over the course of a month, 360,000 local employees worked from Tuesday to Friday, with Saturday, Sunday, and an additional Monday off, as reported by El Pais.
According to the final report prepared by the Valencia City Council, the results of the experiment showed that the four-day workweek improved the health of workers, particularly by reducing stress and providing them with more time for themselves. It was also reported that the four-day workweek led to an improvement in air quality in the city and an increase in activity in the hotel and restaurant business. On the other hand, there was a 20% decrease in sales in stores and higher demand for emergency medical services.
A survey-based study involving 2,100 participants confirmed that the additional free time obtained by these individuals was invested in developing healthy habits. More time was spent on sports, relaxation, and home-cooked meals. Those who consume tobacco and alcohol also reported an increase in the consumption of these products.
The data also indicated improvements in self-esteem, a significant reduction in stress levels and feelings of fatigue, an increase in happiness, mood, and personal satisfaction compared to those who worked five days a week.
The work-life balance also improved for those who participated in this study. Respondents reported an increase in the time they spent with friends and family, taking care of dependents, children, and themselves.
Children turned out to be one of the groups that benefited the most from the four-day workweek. In addition to spending more time with their families, children had more opportunities for relaxation and entertainment.
“More free time for parents, in general, has a positive impact on children’s education, reduces their stress, and promotes more family interaction,” emphasized the study.
Overall, the report recommends adapting the reduced working hours model to the specifics of each company. It advises that the “type of reduced working hours should be subject to collective negotiations” based on the national legal framework that sets limits on the number of hours that can be worked per week.
Source: The Gaze