Danish municipality trialing a 4-day week

Odsherred Municipality, a rural peninsula an hour north of Copenhagen, is trialing a 4-day week, according to The Local:

The northwest Zealand municipality’s 300-strong staff is to be given Fridays off, beginning this week, its HR head of department Kirsten Lund Markvardsen said.

A three-year trial of various new initiatives at the local council is the basis for the shorter working week.

Another change brought about by the trial will enable local residents to contact the municipality outside of traditional opening hours on working days.

“Members of the public will be able to call earlier and later in the day in return for us being closed on Friday,” Markvardsen said.

“That should enable us to provide better municipal service whilst giving our staff an extra day off,” she added.

In my forthcoming book SHORTER (US | UK) I talk a little about rural areas or small towns in the UK, Korea, and Japan that are experimenting with shorter workweeks. Sooner or later we’ll start to see places like Odsherred bring together local government, businesses, and schools, and coordinate a shift to a 4-day workweek. As a way to distinguishing itself, to attract people and businesses, and to guarantee that companies and families won’t have to deal with he problems created by having conflicting school and business schedules.

It sounds like the trial will last three years, which is a pretty generous period, and should give me plenty of time to get up there to do some interviews!

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