A peaceful square in Valencia, Source: Depositphotos

Valencia’s government says 4-day week trial was good for the people and the city

Valencia’s government says 4-day week trial was good for the people and the city

Not only was a large share of participants happier, but there were also environmental benefits

The Valencia City Council ran an experiment of a voluntary 4-day work week, which lasted only a month from mid-April to mid-May. Now, the results of that trial are out and reportedly, they show marked levels of satisfaction with the change on the part of the employees involved, but also there were some benefits for the urban environment as well.

Our main aim with this project was to generate new evidence of the potential benefits that shorter working hours could have for urban environments,” explained Joan Ribo, the former Valencia mayor, now a speaker for the Compromís coalition at the City Hall, as quoted by Euronews.

In his opinion, the results can be seen as adding a new “milestone” for the 4-day work week movement in Spain and in the world.

Less stress, less traffic

There’s a larger Spain-wide trial taking place regarding the viability of a 4-day work week, which involves small and medium-sized companies having access to subsidies from the government if they let their employees opt for working a shorter week for full pay.

The Valencian trial, however, was a separate case and it was only conducted for a month at a time when there was a concentration of three weeks featuring a public holiday. In that way, the companies only had to allow one more day off to conduct the experiment.

The results show that the best benefit for people was the additional free time for hobbies and socializing with friends and family, with 72% of respondents noting that as the main upside. Additionally, people got to sleep more (64%), read more (46%) and exercised more (37%). A third of the participants also experienced reduced levels of stress.

What’s more, the benefits of the shorter work week did not only apply to the human participants but also to the city as a whole. The reports show that during the month-long pilot, there was a 9.5% decrease in traffic in the city, and 58% less NO2 concentration in the air.



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