By Aoibhinn Mc Bride
The likelihood of our working week being revised from the standard five days to four is gaining traction thanks to 4 Day Week Global.
Founded in 2019, the not-for-profit has pioneered the concept of a four-day week as a new way of working.
Successful pilot programmes in the UK, Ireland, Brussels, the US and New Zealand have deployed its 100-80-100 principle – employees receive 100 per cent pay for 80 per cent of time worked, with 100 per cent of productivity targets achieved.
Work-life balance and burnout are major concerns in today’s corporate culture.
A Microsoft poll of 20,000 people across 11 countries found that almost 50 per cent of respondents feel burnt out because of work, with both employers and employees looking for new ways to manage workplace stress and its impact on wellbeing and mental health.
Portugal is the latest European country to experiment with a four-day workweek and has adopted a trial. Currently, 39 private-sector businesses have signed up for the government-funded programme, which will take place over the next six months.
The right to disconnect
With 72 per cent of the Portuguese labour force clocking in over 40 hours per week – making it the OECD-member country with the third-longest workweek after the UK and Ireland – the pilot programme will not only revolutionise their workweek, but also help consolidate the country’s overhaul of working conditions.
In 2021, a law preventing bosses from emailing, phoning, texting or messaging staff members outside of contracted working hours was passed in an attempt to improve work-life balance.
Similarly, parents with children under the age of eight are now entitled to work from home indefinitely, without seeking prior approval from their employer, in an effort to facilitate family commitments and ease the burden of domestic responsibility on working parents.
At the end of the UK trial, 92 per cent of employers shared that they would maintain a four-day work week, with 30 per cent of them making the shorter week permanent.
Profitability broadly stayed the same, and 71 per cent of workers reported less stress and burnout. There was also a 65 per cent reduction in sick days.
With so many workers stipulating a preference for a four-day workweek, attracting top talent is another positive potential outcome for Portugal’s economy and would help consolidate its ongoing effort to encourage tech workers to move there.
In October 2022, Portugal launched its Digital Nomad visa, allowing both freelance and remote workers from non-EU countries to reside in the country for up to one year. After one year, participants can apply for a permanent residence permit.
Over 200 visas have been approved since the start of the scheme, with the majority of applicants coming from the US, UK and Brazil.
If work-life balance is your own workplace goal and your current employer isn't facilitating this, it could be time to start looking at companies that offer more flexibility when it comes to working hours.
If that is the case, the Euronews Job Board is the ideal place to begin your search. It features thousands of jobs across the EU and UK, like the three below.
Business Compliance Manager (Financial Promotions), Revolut
Revolut is seeking a Business Compliance Manager to work remotely within the UK.
In this role you will focus on financial promotions and ensure advertising and marketing activities adhere to regulatory excellence.
You’ll provide compliance expertise to the growth department, act as a key stakeholder with representatives within entities to ensure compliance with financial promotions-related policies, procedures, and controls and ensure appropriate governance and regulatory requirements are followed for approval of proposals, documents, promotions and communications.
Senior Digital Enterprise Architect, Accenture
Do you want to help leading organisations launch world class human-centric products and platforms that re-imagine experiences with digital, data, AI and technology at their core?
Accenture is hiring a Senior Digital Enterprise Architect in Dublin to advise clients on topics such as digital transformation, omni-channel sales and service, product innovation and digital platform strategy.
In this role you will also collaborate with team members from multiple disciplines, including designers, data scientists, software engineers, clients and business stakeholders to help identify key areas for innovation, define and refine the challenge statement and propose solution hypotheses.
Senior Data Analyst, MatchWornShirt
Despite not having an official four-day work week policy in place, Dutch workers on average work 29 hours per week.
In Amsterdam, MatchWornShirt is looking for a Senior Data Analyst to play an important role in creating key insights into the global sports business.
As such, you will take a leading role in the domain of business intelligence and data and collaborate with various stakeholders to identify strategic opportunities and answer key business questions.
You will be required to create meaningful dashboards that inform the business about KPIs and interpret data and analyse results using statistical techniques.