For a lot of us, a 2-day weekend is simply not a long enough break away from the daily work-life routine - I know for me it definitely isn't. But things might be changing very soon.
Spain is spearheading one of the boldest re-inventions we've seen in the past few decades by introducing a 4-day work-week. The country is set to become the first in the world to do so. The news comes after a small left-wing party called Más País outlined the plans to which the government agreed to and a few meetings about the idea have been held... but nothing too major has yet come out of them.
"With the 4-day work week (thirty-two hours), we're launching into the real debate of our times," said Iñigo Errejón of Más País on Twitter, "It's an idea whose time has come."
While the exact plan for how they're going to launch this idea has not been fully confirmed yet, it has been reported that the party has proposed a 3-year, €50M project that would allow companies to trial reduced hours with minimal risk. With the government's aid, the companies that are willing to accept the change could be covered at 100 percent for the first year, fifty percent for the second year and thirty-three percent for the third.
"With these figures, we calculate that we could have around 200 companies participate, with a total of anywhere from 3,000 to 6,000 workers," said Héctor Tejero, another member of the party, Más País, "The only red lines are that we want to see a true reduction of working hours and no loss of salary or jobs."
Errejón also added that "Spain is one of the countries where workers put in more hours than the European average. But we're not among the most productive countries.
"I maintain that working more hours does not mean working better."
Con la jornada de 4 días (32h.) hemos abierto un auténtico debate de época. Eso siempre despierta polémicas, porque abre brecha. ¿De qué otra cosa más importante tiene que ocuparse la política que del tiempo de vida? pic.twitter.com/2WhWMEzTkc
— Íñigo Errejón (@ierrejon) February 6, 2021
Other European countries have also been getting on board with the idea. Germany, as well as the United Kingdom, have been keen to see how this pans out for Spain. Joe Ryle from the 4 Day Week Campaign in the UK has spoken out in favor of the movement stating that "governments across the world to follow the Spanish example."
"Clearly the way that we work is making people stressed, burned out, overworked, and causing massive workplace and mental health issues," he explained, "The 4-day week would be good for the economy, good for workers, and good for the environment. What's not to like about it?"
If it's successful, who knows? We might all be blessed with a 3-day weekend. Fingers crossed!