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New Study Shows Pros and Cons of Four-Day Work Week

In Kerteminde Municipality, a new experiment with a four-day workweek has shown both positive and negative consequences for the employees and their families. The experiment, which has been monitored by researchers from the Center for Labor Market Research at Roskilde University, has not reduced the total working hours, but instead compressed the 37 weekly working hours into just four days. According to Janne Gleerup, associate professor in labor market and head of the research project, the compressed workweek gives employees a longer continuous break from Thursday afternoon to Monday morning. This can increase quality of life and provide more time for personal activities and family. However, there are also challenges associated with this model, especially for families with children.

The long working days from Monday to Thursday can make it difficult for parents to balance work life and family life. “The critical moments in the lives of families with children – that is, in the morning when everyone needs to leave the house, and in the afternoon when children need to be picked up and dinner needs to be prepared – can come under further pressure,” says Gleerup. In addition, some employees experience difficulties in meeting the opening hours of institutions, and coordinating practical tasks such as driving children to extracurricular activities can be challenging. Fatigue after the long working days can also affect parents’ ability to be present with their families.

The experiment in Kerteminde has been ongoing since June 2022, and although it is not specified how many employees are participating, the results suggest that a four-day workweek can have both advantages and disadvantages. It is important for workplaces to consider these factors when contemplating implementing similar working hour models.

Read the danish version here

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