The Belgian Federal Planning Bureau is gearing up for a groundbreaking study slated for 2024—testing the impacts of condensing the workweek to 32 hours without compromising pay.

Commissioned by Pierre-Yves Dermagne, the nation's Minister for the Economy and Employment, this initiative will collaborate with Ghent University.

Amidst a global resurgence of interest in reducing collective work hours, catalyzed by the post-Covid landscape, the Planning Bureau highlights that several countries, including Sweden, Iceland, the UK, Spain, Portugal, Germany, New Zealand, Australia, and the United States, have already experimented with a four-day work week.

While prior studies have yielded "highly positive" outcomes, they've proven challenging to generalize. Nonetheless, these studies underscore that embracing a four-day week bolsters productivity and enhances overall well-being, maintaining a company's performance.

Belgium's pilot program will closely monitor and assist companies adopting a four-day week without compromising compensation for six months. Its aim is to meticulously quantify and comprehend the impact of reduced work hours on employee welfare, productivity, and companies' financial equilibrium.

Participating companies stand to receive scientific expertise and financial backing. For private entities interested in joining the study, detailed information is available at www.4dayweek.be. Photo by Geert Roels, Wikimedia commons.