Embracing the Four-day Work Week: A Rising Trend in the Czech Republic

The concept of a four-day workweek is no longer a distant reality confined to countries like Iceland, Belgium, Switzerland, or Germany. In the Czech Republic, thousands of companies are experimenting with this approach, offering a shorter work week that extends the weekend by a day. Despite representing a small minority, these businesses are alternatively introducing what is known as ‘flexible working hours.’

The Brno-based company Phonexia, a globally recognized player in the speech technology market, introduced a four-day workweek in February last year and praised its impact. The move was expected to significantly improve people’s work and private lives, an expectation that, according to the company’s Strategy Director Zuzana Roznosová, has been fulfilled.

Employees appreciate the extra day off, noting that it allows them to rest better, spend more time with family, or indulge in hobbies. “Finally, I have time for things I used not to have time for – things that I enjoy and fulfil me. I also feel more zest and energy, and I think it’s visible in my work,” says Jan Matoušek, a project manager at the company.

The change also led to employees coming to the office more often, contributing to better collaboration and a more positive workplace atmosphere. Importantly, the company has seen increased interest in new job positions, with employees managing to complete their work in four days instead of five while maintaining the standard eight-hour working day without a change in wages.

However, the four-day workweek isn’t a universal success. Digital agency Cognito initially adopted it but eventually reverted to a traditional schedule. The company found that while productivity can be increased in the short term, employees return to their usual pace over time, and the four-day week becomes the standard, thus making it less of a motivating factor.

In conclusion, the trend towards a four-day workweek is gaining traction in the Czech Republic, particularly among companies prioritising innovation, flexibility, and a modern approach to work. As more companies experiment and share their experiences, it will be interesting to see how this trend evolves and whether it will become a new standard in the future.