At the end of October, the test period of the 4-day working week ended in the Magyar Telekom Group, the most important purpose of which was to gather information. 4 teams participated in the pilot program, which started with 150 people: areas dealing with customer service, technical troubleshooting, technology sales support and SAP systems. During the project, special attention was paid not only to the smooth organization of work, but also to the feedback and mood of the colleagues.
– Based on international experience, we started from the assumption that the three consecutive days off make the time spent at work and leisure more balanced, the quality of life of colleagues improves, and they can perform more efficiently at their workplace with a well-coordinated work organization. Thanks to the direct experiences of the 4-month test period and the nationally representative research, we gathered a lot of information about the advantages of the new type of work schedule, the questions that arise and the expectations of the labor market. The test period proved to be successful, so we will continue the pilot until the end of August 2023 by doubling the number of involved colleagues, expanding it to additional areas and examining new aspects. In addition, we encourage the labor market players to join the experiment according to their own possibilities Zsuzsanna Friedl, Magyar Telekom Chief People Office, presented the results of the project.
Surveys conducted during the pilot phase of the 4-day work schedule show encouraging results: the self-reported performance of employees dealing with customer relations tasks during fixed working hours increased by ten percent compared to their performance before the pilot after the introduction of the test period of the 4-day work week. The internal survey among the involved colleagues showed that 92% of the employees participating in the 4-day pilot program felt that they had enough time for their private life in addition to their work, and at the end of the pilot period, 90% answered that they would like to continue the 4-day program working.
Seeing the results, Magyar Telekom will continue the testing of the 4-day work week by involving additional teams from February 1, 2023, doubling the number of participating colleagues, and extending the testing period to 6 months. In the second phase, the company will continue the project within the framework of a 36-hour work week, with unchanged wages and maintaining the previous efficiency, in which it will examine, among other things, the effect of the 4-day work week on recruitment selection and employer brand, as well as analyze the development of fluctuation within the test teams and the also the possible change of sick leave days.
Telekom and PwC Hungary are conducting a nationally representative research1 also started on the topic to explore the opinions of the labor market actors regarding the 4-day work week. During the research, a total of more than 12,000 people participated, asking for their opinion on what they think about the introduction of the 4-day work week and its expected effects on their daily lives.
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Based on the results of the survey, the majority of respondents (84%) would prefer to work four days a week compared to the current 5-day work week. Within this, the ‘4 days, 8 hours, unchanged wage’ and the ‘4 days, 9 hours, unchanged wage’ model proved to be the most sympathetic, provided that the wages of the employees are not affected by the change in working hours. The research clearly points out that the preferences of employees are shaped by different life situations: younger people would be willing to work even 4 days, 10 hours (41% of those under 30 consider this option somewhat acceptable) instead of the current 5 days and 8 hours , however, this option is not acceptable to everyone: the majority of those close to retirement are rather dismissive, and only 13% over the age of 50 consider it acceptable to work in such a model. The survey highlighted that the majority of employees are optimistic about reducing working hours, and would use the freed time for their physical and mental health, family, friends, and recharge.
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