Is working less to earn the same the key to employee productivity and well-being? As a leading company in French-speaking Switzerland, the food-based company Assymba, which is active in the field of information technology, has been offering its employees 4 days a week for a year and a half. Reportage.
“I was inspired by the Scandinavian model and its good results. When I proposed this, the employees were a little skeptical at first. They were afraid that it would affect their salary. But the idea was precisely to improve their working hours while maintaining the same wages,” explains Assymba founder Patrick Tundo.
Valuable free time for employees, which encourages better team cohesion. “You have to be more flexible to improve your work, all of a sudden colleagues are pushing to help each other more,” explains one employee.
“It is true that being a computer scientist, it is often hard to stop, we tend to look for solutions during the weekend, work on our days off… The 4-day work week appeals to me. It forces me to break away and find myself better,” he testifies. on another employee. An additional motive that did not affect the productivity of the small and medium food company. Its sales volume has increased.
Outside the Swiss borders, the establishmentCampaigns to reduce working time to 4 days a week. The organization just published the results of a life-size trial. For six months, 33 volunteer companies tested this new work organization. In the end, no one intends to return. The results of the experiment show a decrease in stress, burnout, fatigue and even family conflicts among employees.
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The four-day work week has been discussed around the world for several years. In Iceland, the government tested the model extensively between 2016 and 2019It turned out to be somewhat promising: unaltered productivity, improved employee well-being, or better work-life balance. It should be noted, however, that many executives have not succeeded in reducing their working hours due to the increased workload. These results have led to many relaxations in public and private companies in the country.
In the UK, more than 3,000 employees have taken part in an intensive study program offering a 4-day week from June to December 2022. Many of the companies involved in the process have decided to continue this model.
Recently, Belgium has established a four-day working week in its legislation, but maintaining a working time of 38 hours. This form is possible on a voluntary basis and if permitted by the employer. If he refuses, he will have to justify his decision. Spain and New Zealand have launched large-scale testing projects.
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