Would you accept a drop in salary to work 4 days a week?

The shortening of the working day is getting closer to reality for some companies. Finally, the textile brand came into the car unequalwhich has offered its office staff to work 4 days a week in exchange for a Salary cut of 6.5%.

The measure, to be voted on by workers on October 7, responds to workers’ growing interest in working 4 days a week, a measure that takes arbitration a step further. “We want people to work happier and be more attractive in order to retain the talent we have domestically and attract those from abroad. The four-day session will make us more competitive,” estimates Alberto Ojinaga, Director of Desigual, in five days.

As Ojinaga explains, the working day would not be spread out, but worked 4 days a week would reduce working hours by 13%, from 39.5 to 34.5 today. Taking this into account, the 6.5% salary cut proposed by Desigual would be less than the lost work time.

The measure does not affect Desigual’s stores across Spain, which continue to be fully serviced from the offices. Therefore, under the modality that allows a 4-day week, some workers have to work alternately from Monday to Thursday or Tuesday to Friday.

Working 4 days a week is gaining ground in Spanish companies

Although it is not mandatory, there are already companies that work 4 days a week. In case of LAB group, a network of digital agencies employing more than 80 people, in 2018 gave its employees the opportunity to split their working hours – 37.5 hours per week – into just four days. 90% of workers opted for this modality, thus extending their weekend to three days.

In addition, many people who have not yet enjoyed this measure are increasingly in favor of working 4 days a week as a regular reality. Nevertheless, not all companies could bear the burden losing eight hours of work per week and employee without sacrificing wages.

Therefore, the reduction in weekly working hours would require support from the various governments in the form of Tax breaks and incentives. With that in mind, experts are not entirely convinced that this is the best economic time to start debating the issue.

Even if social actors and public institutions are less and less reluctant to at least talk about reducing the working week, the crisis caused by the coronavirus and the uncertainty that is beginning 2021 seem to be slowing down the process. However, the experience of the companies that have applied it shows that there is not much left to work only four days a week to become a reality.

Arbitration, management, time management, productivity, salaries