As the 6-day work week officially kicked off in Greece at the start of July, many countries around the world, including France, Germany, Portugal, and Belgium in Europe; and the US, Australia and Japan are moving in the opposite direction, adopting a 4-day workweek on a trial basis.

The reasoning behind the Greek government’s decision, was to clamp down on “black employment”, which leads to undeclared work, tax evasion, and work insurance avoidance on the part of companies.

Paradoxically, as the EU’s statistical authority, Eurostat indicates Greeks are among those who work longer hours compared to other EU member states.

However, the countries implementing the 4-day work week aim to strike a balance between employees’ leisure time and work, hoping to boost productivity.

In Germany, Europe’s largest economy, starting from early February and for six months, 45 companies initiated a trial of a four-day workweek. The results are expected to be presented soon, with research from the company Forsa indicating that 71% of workers in the country would like the option to work a four-day week instead of a five-day week.

In France, 2024 marked the start of the first national 4-day workweek pilot program, in collaboration with Emlyon Business School, with applications closing on July 31, 2024. This initiative, supported by “4 Day Week Global,” aims to improve the work-life balance by allowing 50 companies to adopt a shorter workweek without salary cuts.

Surprisingly, Greek digital advertising company Admine ignored the legal option to allow employees to work for 6 days a week, announcing last week it would be implementing a four-day workweek experimentally for July.