It is safe to say that the COVID-19 pandemic has changed our work environment in irrevocable ways. As businesses closed their doors and cities across the world went under lockdown, people as a whole learnt how to work from home. But what if the work-week could be shortened to a mere four days?
The idea of having shorter work weeks is not new. Even as the pandemic raged in mid-2020, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern had urged employers to consider having a four-day work week. In recent months, other nations including India have been considering giving companies the flexibility to form shorter work-weeks.
But it is Spain that might become the pioneer when it comes to the four day work week, as the country looks to launch an unique pilot program. According to a report by The Guardian, the country is looking to test out a 32 hour, four day work week.
The small leftwing Spanish party Más País had announced earlier this year that the government had accepted its proposal to test out the idea, with party leader Iñigo Errejón dubbing it "the real debate of our times". The idea has also found favour with several other parties in Spain.
While it remains unclear as who when the pilot project with begin or who it will involve, the proposal put forth by Más País would see a three-year, €50 million project that would companies to test out reduced hours with minimal risk. The report also quotes the party as estimating that around 200 companies could participate in the trial, with up to 6,000 workers.
Further talks are now underway to iron out details and settle upon a plan of action.