April 14, 2024 2:27 pm
Copenhagen tests out four-day working week with number of applicants doubling

In the City of Copenhagen, fourteen workplaces are currently taking part in an experiment to implement a four-day workweek. This initiative is backed by the manager of Radisevej dormitory, which provides mental health services, who believes that this new schedule is here to stay. Under the new arrangement, employees will work four one-day shifts followed by three days off, totaling 37 working hours a week but with longer days than before.

The Danish parliament approved the experiment on flexible working weeks in 2023, proposed by the Alternativet party Christian Jakobsen. The trial has been running since April 1 and will continue until the end of the year. After that, participating workplaces will evaluate whether to permanently adopt the four-day workweek.

This is not the first time such an experiment has taken place in Denmark, as previous trials have been conducted in municipalities like Esbjerg, Vejen, and Odsherred. Labor market researcher Janne Gleerup noted that similar experiments have been carried out in businesses for some time now but are now being embraced by public sector workplaces as well.

Among those participating in Copenhagen is Radisevej dormitory, where Jonas Ammitzbøll, director of its unit, stated that reorganizing for a shift in work hours was necessary but was well received by employees. He has already noticed positive effects on recruitment and hopes for a better balance between work and free time.

The trend towards adapting to a more flexible work schedule can also be seen in other countries like Finland’s central trade union organization SAK’s proposal for an experiment with shortened working hours. Reports from British experiments showed improvements in physical and psychological health for participants due to reduced stress levels and other benefits associated with having more free time.

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