The feasibility of the 4-day week is the subject of controversial political, economic and social debate. While some representatives fear negative effects on the tight labor market, others see a shorter work week as a guarantor for more labor productivity and an increased attractiveness of shortage occupations (e.g. nursing). But what happens when employees no longer see the 4-day week as a "reward" and privilege, but as a "normal" work week? Which working time model is the most effective? And what influence do family circumstances (e.g. care obligations) and the respective manager have on the effectiveness of the 4-day week?

We are investigating these and similar questions in the research project "Four is more?!", which is funded by the Work 4.0 Project Fund of the Lower Austrian Chamber of Labor. While recent studies from the UK (Schor et al. 2022) or Germany indicate that a 4-day week has no negative effects on productivity despite reduced working hours, long-term effects on work quality, motivation and teamwork are still unexplored. There are also different models of the 4-day week (e.g. compressed work week vs. "real" 4-day week with fewer hours per week).

In a longitudinal design, we use questionnaires and interviews at two points in time to survey employees' experiences with the shortened work week and the "gained" 5th day.

We are currently looking for other companies in Lower Austria that have already switched to the 4-day week or plan to do so in the coming months.

If you are interested, please contact us directly at or Martina Hartner-Tiefenthaler.

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