Last week sees the launch of a pilot trial of the 4-day week in Portugal. Thirty-nine companies are taking part, including 12 that have previous experience with shorter working hours. The aim of the project is to measure the impact of the 4-day week on employees’ physical and mental health, as well as the economic impact on companies. 

The companies have agreed to decrease the number of hours worked each week while still receiving their full salary. Specifically, they will implement the 100-80-100 model: Employees will be paid in full if they work 80% of their usual hours and perform at 100% capacity. The companies have willingly joined the program without any monetary compensation. Additionally, they have the option to revert the changes whenever they desire.

All private companies in Portugal were eligible to participate. Currently, the project is being conducted in partnership with the non-profit organization 4-Day-Week-Global, which is providing its knowledge and assistance in implementing the project.

Companies from production, trade, research – including daycare center and nursing home

The companies involved in the project come from different sectors, such as manufacturing, retail, and non-profit organizations. Additionally, the pilot project includes a daycare center, a nursing home, a research and development center, and a stem cell bank.

The primary motivations for taking part were to decrease the likelihood of stress and burnout among staff members and enhance employee retention.

Dr. Pedro Gomes, an economics professor, and Dr. Rita Fontinha, a strategic management professor, are in charge of coordinating and overseeing the project. Their role involves monitoring the companies’ activities during the trial period to assess the economic, social, and environmental effects of implementing a four-day workweek.

Those who have the ability to attract the most talented employees will be the ones who thrive in the future.

“In the past 30 years, society has undergone significant changes in various aspects such as technology, communication speed, job types, life expectancy, and the role of women. However, the way we structure work remains unchanged. The coordinators of the project, Dr. Pedro Gomes and Dr. Rita Fontinha, argue that adopting a four-day work week is a more effective and sustainable approach for organizing work in the 21st century. They believe that this change would bring benefits to both workers, companies, and the economy.”

Portugal is embracing the future of work by introducing a pilot project for a four-day workweek. The project is founded on the belief that maintaining a healthy work-life balance is essential for attracting employees and enhancing productivity and innovation. The most successful companies are those that ensure they offer opportunities for talented individuals to thrive and find fulfillment in their work. This initiative marks just the initial phase of numerous changes being implemented in Portugal’s labor market. The country, which has historically had high employment rates, is committed to attracting and retaining skilled individuals. In a globally competitive environment where talent and human resources are paramount, the future belongs to those who can entice top-notch workers and provide them with high levels of satisfaction.

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