(April Fool's!) The Luxembourg Government recently debated sampling a four-day work week for workers within Luxembourg City, with two trial weeks starting at the end of this month.
The Labour Ministry announced that companies would be invited to trial the four-day work week on a voluntary basis and send their reports.
A four-day work week is an arrangement within an organisation to work four days a week, instead of the usual five-day work week. COVID-19 made it clear it is possible to find a better work-life balance. 85% of adults in the United States already approve of moving to a four-day week.
A study will track the changes and benefits of this new way of working. Among the benefits, beyond employee stress reduction, is a boost in efficacity. As the four-day week's movement founder, Andrew Barnes, stated: "When we started everybody’s initial reaction was 'how am I ever going do my work in four days rather than five'. So the fact that the trial indicates that not only could they do their work in four days, but they could do it better in four days, is something I find extraordinarily surprising."
Multiple implementations are possible to achieve this, but the most frequently seen is the Monday to Thursday variation, giving employees Friday as an extra day for the weekend. The second most common is the Tuesday to Friday variation, also prolonging the weekend by one day.
Employers can give their own variations of the workdays and the number of working hours. For example, some companies have 32-hour work weeks and others have 40-hour work weeks.
For this trial period, the government recommended a 40-hour model: a Monday to Thursday work week starting on Monday 31 April 2023, followed by a Tuesday to Friday work week starting on Tuesday 9 May 2023, with a work schedule from 08:00 to 18:00.
Some members of the public praised the initiative, whilst others remained sceptical. John Labour, who is recently retired, expressed his concerns: "In my day, we worked 80 hours a week and we did not complain about it. Today's generation should show a better work ethic."
30-year-old Lea Freiheit disagreed: "The pandemic proved that new and flexible working models are the future. Companies that do not adapt to this will lose out on valuable talent."