Dutch marketing firm scales staff down to 32 hours weekly with no pay cut

Marketing firm Loyals in Mijdrecht is experimenting with a four-day work week for the month of February. The firm is cutting its 100 employees' hours down to 32 hours per week, with no wage cut, Gillian Robles and Youri Lieberton, partners in the company, said to newspaper AD.

The idea of a four-day work week started with New Zealand company Perpetual Guardian two years ago. For a year long, staff at the company worked one day less for the same wage. Researchers followed this experiment and concluded that the extra day off gave employees a better work-life balance and promoted productivity at work, according to AD.

The main reason Loyals decided to also try out this working method, was the employees, Robles and Lieberton said to the newspaper. They noticed that their employees struggle with a lack of time, Lieberton said. "If you work hard, you also need time to recharge. Of course you have the weekend off, but nowadays everyone has so many obligations besides work. And there is social pressure to comply, so you do not choose for yourself. With that extra day off, we want to give our employees the opportunity to do just that."

"We found that the staff had little energy. That is not good for themselves, or for the work they deliver," Robles said. "We have people who work 40, 38 or 36 hours a week. They all go back to 32 hours, but for the same salary."

Their only assignment for the extra day off - try to regain their energy, Lieberton said.