Four-day week

What is the four-day week?

The four-day week, initiated in France by a law passed by Pierre Larrouturou in 1993, is an innovative approach to work organization that is gaining in popularity worldwide.

It involves reducing the traditional five-day working week to just four days, without necessarily reducing employee pay. This transition is part of the wider Future of Work initiative, which aims to rethink the way we work and adapt it to the changing needs of society and business.

What are thebenefits for employees?

For employees, the four-day week offers a tempting prospect. It gives them a day off during the week, creating a better work-life balance. But that's not all, as the results published by the 4 Day Week association show:

  • Reduced stress for 39% of employees
  • A 71% drop in burnouts
  • 65% fall in sick leave rates

What's more, this approach can lead to higher productivity, improved social conditions (greater well-being and cohesion) and lower unemployment, by creating new jobs to compensate for shorter working hours.

What are thebenefits for companies?

Companies that adopt the four-day week often see an increase in employee productivity. By reducing the time spent at work, employees tend to be more focused and manage their time better. This can translate into improved results and reduced costs. The association reports that companies' sales remained stable or sometimes increased slightly.

With employees feeling better about the company, thanks in particular to reduced stress, the attrition rate has fallen by an average of 57%, demonstrating improved well-being.

4 tips for switching to a four-day week

  1. Identify the needs of stakeholders: employees, managers, CSE... This is the time to understand their expectations and fears about their jobs and workload, in order to determine the best organization for this reduced work week.
  2. Rethink the company's processes to adapt them to a four-day week, whether with customers, internally or between each department (e.g. customer relations or product production activity).
  3. Carry out a test phase to see which elements need to be improved, stopped or implemented. This phase can initially be carried out on a sample of employees.
  4. Monitor metrics to check that the new organization is working. This means checking absenteeism, burn-out and turnover rates, all of which should decrease. Conversely, employee satisfaction and productivity should increase.

A model that attracts

The four-day working arrangement is a hot topic that is attracting more and more employees and companies around the world, in view of the various advantages mentioned above and the experiments that are taking place just about everywhere: Spain, Iceland, England, etc. This is also the case in France and the public sector, which is testing this work organization throughout the country, as in Lyon and Strasbourg on a voluntary basis.

In a nutshell

The four-day working week is being introduced in more and more companies for trial purposes. It offers considerable benefits for employees and companies alike, such as reduced stress and fatigue. The move to this shorter working week illustrates how the organization of work is evolving to meet the changing needs of employees, while promoting a more balanced professional future.

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