Portugal: how companies successfully experimented with a four-day week

After a year of experimentation, a number of Portuguese companies have adopted the four-day week. They are seeing productivity levels maintained as well as an improvement in employee commitment and loyalty, and a reduction in the number of absences, thanks in particular to a better work-life balance. To achieve these results, companies have had to adapt their working methods.

Through Gilmar Sequeira Martins. Published on 30 May 2024 Ă  16h40 - Update on 30 May 2024 Ă  16h40

After the experimental phase, Crioestaminal, a 70-employee biotech company specialising in stem cell storage, returned to the five-day week. However, the firm’s staff wanted to return to the four-day week, and were granted it because the results had been conclusive, explains HR director Alexandra BeirĂŁo Mendes. “The level of sales was our major indicator for deciding whether to continue. During the trial period of the four-day week, the call-center, through which we make our sales, was as efficient as before. We also found that the number of errors in the lab remained stable, and that the number of short absences had fallen,” she says.

Balancing life’s rhythms

The initial commitment to the experiment had a different motivation,…

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