On the heels of the Valencia proposal to trial a 4-day week, Spanish phone company Telefonica now says it will trial a 4-day week from October to December, according to Reuters:

Telefonica will offer part of their workforce the opportunity to participate in a four-day week pilot programme, due to start in October and last three months, as part of wider negotiations with unions in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic.

The deal, signed with Spanish labour unions on Tuesday and valid until end-2022, includes the three-month trial which would let staff work four days a week on a voluntary and role-dependent basis, in exchange for a 15% pay cut.

“We’re going ahead with a flexible working model which proved feasible during the pandemic,” Emilio Gayo, president of Telefonica Spain, said in a statement. “This agreement shows our strong commitment to new ways of working.”

The 15% pay cut is a problem, in my view, because as several CEOs of 4-day week companies told me, you can’t get people to do the work of boosting productivity, reflecting on how they work, collaborating more enthusiastically, and reinventing the workday, if you’re cutting their pay. So if I were a betting man, I’d say that this will be a mixed success, but they won’t see the kinds of productivity gains that you see in places that keep salaries the same.