In February 2022, Belgium decided to introduce a four-day workweek to employees who want it. These employees were allowed to condense all their usual working hours into four days and have three days off.
According to Belgian Prime minister, Alexander de Croo, “The goal is to give people and companies more freedom to arrange their work time.”
In the UK, there was a six-month trial where workers were allowed to work only four days a week. The trial was hailed as successful and about 61 UK companies and more than 3,300 employees signed up for the programme.
In 2022, Spain announced that the government had agreed to a request to launch a modest pilot programme of a four-day working week. Workers who partake in this will have their working week cut by at least half a day without any salary reduction.
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In Japan, top companies have also considered a four-day workweek. This was after the Japanese government announced a plan to achieve a better work-life balance across the nation in 2021.
This was even adopted by Microsoft in 2019 when they offered employees three-day weekends for a month. The result was increased productivity by 40 per cent and more efficient work from the employees.
Scotland is also one of the countries looking to adopt a four-day workweek. A government trial is due to start in 2023 where workers will have their hours reduced by 20 per cent, but won’t suffer any loss in compensation.
Some Scottish businesses such as Glasgow-based UPAC Group, have already started doing this.