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Is a 4-Day Work Week in Your Future? Spanish Pilot Program Shows Promise

4-day workweek printed calendar with pink pins on the three days off

In recent years, the traditional workweek has been challenged by shifting priorities and new approaches to productivity, work-life balance and environmental sustainability. The idea of a four-day workweek is gaining momentum worldwide – and for good reason: recent pilot programs, such as one conducted in the Spanish city of Valencia, are showing promising results for improving employee wellbeing, business outcomes, environmental impact and more.

In this blog post, we delve into the key insights gained from the Valencia program and examine the potential advantages of a four-day workweek for companies that hire remote workers. Additionally, we explore how the integration of expert recruitment services and Employer of Record (EOR) solutions can streamline the transition, enabling companies to harness the full potential of a four-day workweek.

Lessons from Valencia

The coastal city of Valencia, Spain, recently conducted a pilot program that introduced a four-day workweek for a substantial number of workers. The program involved scheduling local holidays to fall on four consecutive Mondays between April 10 and May 7, affecting around 360,000 workers.

The program’s goal was to assess the impact of a shorter workweek on various aspects of workers’ lives. Here are some of the key takeaways:

  • Benefits for Workers: Participants in the pilot program reported numerous benefits, including improved self-perceived health status, reduced stress levels and enhanced feelings of happiness and personal satisfaction. Workers also reported feeling less tired, which contributed to their overall wellbeing. These benefits are a significant win for employees and companies alike.
  • Environmental Benefits: The program also had positive environmental effects. With the decrease in the use of motor vehicles during the four-day workweeks, air quality improved as less nitrogen dioxide was emitted. This decrease in fuel emissions is a significant step toward reducing the environmental impact of work-related commuting.
  • Impact on Children: Perhaps one of the most heartening outcomes of the pilot program was the positive impact on children. With parents enjoying a better work-life balance, children benefited from increased quality time with their families. Enhancing the quality of family interactions can positively influence children’s development, ultimately contributing to a more promising and prosperous future for society.
  • Challenges and Adjustments: It’s important to acknowledge that implementing the four-day workweek is not without its challenges. The pilot program noted that while the hospitality and tourism sectors thrived during extended weekends, retailers reported a decrease in sales. Additionally, emergency medical services may have been overextended due to healthcare workers taking time off. These challenges underscore the necessity for meticulous planning and adaptation, especially in industries where specific considerations must be taken into account.

Can the four-day workweek benefit you?

Beyond Valencia, we are witnessing a global trend of companies reevaluating the potential of the four-day workweek. As remote work gains increasing popularity, businesses are frequently managing employees across different time zones and locations.

The introduction of a four-day workweek can amplify the advantages of remote work for both employers and employees:

  • Improved Wellbeing and Work-Life Balance: Remote workers often struggle to maintain a healthy work-life balance, as the boundaries between work and personal life can blur. Implementing a four-day workweek can alleviate this issue, allowing employees to enjoy more leisure time, reduce stress and improve their overall wellbeing.
  • Increased Productivity: Contrary to conventional wisdom, working fewer days can lead to increased productivity. With a shorter workweek, employees tend to be more focused and efficient during their working hours, ensuring they make the most of their reduced time.
  • Enhanced Operational Efficiency: A four-day workweek can boost operational efficiency when remote worker schedules are staggered. Some companies maintain a five-day workweek while allowing select employees to adopt a four-day workweek. This flexible approach maximizes productivity, ensures consistent service levels and extends operational hours. It’s a win-win for both employers and employees, offering the best of both worlds.
  • Enhanced Employee Retention: Companies that implement the four-day workweek as part of their benefits package are more likely to attract and retain top talent. Employees appreciate employers who prioritize work-life balance, which, in turn, reduces turnover rates.
  • Positive Environmental Impact: For companies with remote workers, a shorter workweek can lead to a decrease in energy consumption, reducing the company’s carbon footprint. This aligns with sustainability goals and helps promote an eco-friendly approach to doing business. 

Streamlining the four-day work week

Implementing a four-day workweek for international companies with remote workers can be challenging, but it’s not impossible. To make the transition smoother and more efficient, companies can leverage expert recruitment services and Employer of Record (EOR) solutions.

  • Cross-Border Recruitment Services: These services can help international companies find the right talent, whether it’s for remote positions or in-office roles. Skilled recruiters can identify candidates who not only possess the necessary skills but also fit the company’s culture and are open to a four-day workweek arrangement – no matter where in the world they are located.
  • Employer of Record (EOR) Solutions: EOR services can handle the administrative and legal aspects of hiring remote workers in other countries, making it easier for companies to navigate international labor laws and regulations. EOR solutions can ensure that all employees, regardless of their location, are properly compensated, receive benefits, and adhere to local labor laws.

By harnessing the capabilities of both expert recruitment services and EOR solutions, such as what is offered with GoGlobal’s Recruit & Hire solution, companies worldwide can establish a streamlined approach to hiring and effectively managing remote workers. This synergy not only facilitates the transition to a four-day workweek but also unlocks the potential benefits more efficiently.

Through this strategic combination, companies empower their remote workers to fully embrace the advantages of a four-day workweek, yielding benefits that extend not only to employees and the company but also to society at large. It’s a transformation that fosters wellbeing, productivity and a sustainable future for all.

Check out the details for GoGlobal Recruit & Hire or contact us to learn more about how our specialized services can help you smoothly transition to a four-day workweek.