Back in December, we shared how Spain was considering a plan for a nationwide four-day workweek. Now, led by the country’s Más País party, officials have laid out a plan for a pilot program in which companies can partake in a four-day workweek with minimal risk.
The €50m project provides funding to incentivize companies to try out the new schedule. Officials estimate that they will have the fundings to sponsor 200 companies, impacting 3,000 to 6,000 employees.
Proponents of the plan argue that an adjusted work week will have across the board benefits for the environment, productivity, and mental health. Software Delsol, a southern Spanish firm that began operating under a four-day workweek last year reports that they saw improved productivity, less absenteeism, and happier workers. Shorter workweeks have also been shown to lower emissions and prevent worker exploitation.
Spain will be the first country to officially pilot a large-scale four-day workweek, but other smaller trials, like one run by Unilever in New Zealand, have shown that the change is an effective way to support workers and create a healthier work-life balance.
We will continue to follow Spain’s program closely and hope that if successful, this economic solution will be adopted by more countries around the world.