Breakthrough for four-day week thanks to Covid?

Iceland has already introduced the four-day week and former Russian prime minister Dmitry Medvedev already predicted in 2019 that it would become standard. Covid is now giving the concept another boost: according to surveys many people not only want to continue working from home at least in part but would also prefer a 30-hour week to higher earnings. Observers are divided as to how quickly change will come.

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Der Standard (AT) /

An unstoppable revolution

The pandemic has stepped up people's yearning for a new work world, writes Der Standard:

“A huge silent revolution is underway in the labour market. ... Reinforced by the pandemic, short-time work and working from home, a new self-awareness has emerged. Many people have put real thought into how they want to work. ... It's about setting up a human working world suited to modern lifestyles. And about values that people truly identify with. Profit and efficiency are not values. The ability to relate to workers and the warm-heartedness of managers are. This could also mean that four-day weeks become the norm. Companies that don't understand what is happening now are very likely to miss the boat.”

Polityka (PL) /

Still too many mental hurdles

Don't hold your breath, writer Anna Dziewit-Meller counters in Polityka:

“There are some interesting things going on in the world that my mind - brainwashed in the 2000s as far as work ethic goes - finds as difficult to process as string theory or thermodynamics. The 4-day week, for example, which is being introduced on a trial basis in various places. ... An acquaintance of mine conducted this experiment for a long time in her family business in Warsaw and came to the conclusion that such a way of working generally functions well, but not for everyone. ... Two of her employees gave the concept a negative rating. I think some of us have to learn to work less but more efficiently, including myself. ... We still pay tribute to the cult of sacred overtime as a measure of our commitment to our job.”