Four-day work week: Germany to test out long weekend for next six months

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Germany will be testing out a four-day work week for hundreds of workers starting from February 1, 2024, to determine the impact of a long weekend.

The trial, which will see 45 companies across the country take part, is set to analyze whether a three-day weekend will make employees happier, healthier, and more productive.

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Germany’s economy has been sluggish, as high energy costs, record-high interest rates, and deep labor shortages take their toll.

The country is facing a shortage of skilled workers, especially in high-growth sectors, with data estimating that Germany’s ageing population will be short of 7 million skilled workers by 2035.

The shortage has fueled employees across industries to demand better wages and flexible hours.

According to 4 Day Week Global – the non-profit leading the trial – employees will work fewer hours per week for the same pay. For the pilot to be successful, their output should be the same or more successful.

In addition to increased productivity, employees are also expected to take fewer days off – which is an expected result of lower levels of stress, burnout, sickness.

A shorter work week may also attract untapped potential to the labor market in Germany, which has one of the highest proportions of part-timers in the EU, also among women, according to the government agency Eurostat.

On January 1, 2022, the UAE’s Sharjah introduced a three-day weekend for its employees and students.

More than a year after the implementation of the four-day work week, a government study found that there was a 90 percent rise in the job performance, happiness, and mental health of Sharjah employees.

Among the employees who worked shorter weeks, the study also found a 90 percent increase in job satisfaction with 84 percent of respondents saying the new reforms helped them achieve a work-life balance.

Read more:

Bahrain lawmakers submit proposal for a three-day weekend

Three-day weekend: Saudi Arabia considering shorter work weeks

WFH, hybrid or office-based – which workforce trend remains in the UAE in 2023?

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