Making Working Conditions More Attractive: Can a 4-Day Work Week Bring More Satisfaction?
The coalition in Frankfurt wants to test a 4-day week in a Frankfurt nursing home as part of a pilot project. The aim is to gain important insights into whether the 4-day week can have an impact on the satisfaction and health of nursing staff, and how this affects the economic efficiency and quality of care in the facility. Above all, however, this pilot project is intended to express appreciation for the nursing staff and their performance.
Debates on the establishment of a 4-day week in the working world are highly topical. Recent studies consistently show positive effects: employees are more balanced, healthier, and more productive. However, not all questions have been resolved and there are concerns, among other things, that certain industries, such as professional caregiving, might not be able to handle such a reduction in working hours with full wage compensation. According to the coalition of the GRÜNEN, SPD, FDP, and Volt in Frankfurt, it is especially important in this area to make attractive offers and thus attract, bring back, and, above all, retain skilled workers.
“A 4-day week with full wage compensation would thus be a strong signal towards professional caregiving, that we are serious about societal appreciation,” says Sylvia Momsen from the GRÜNEN in Frankfurt. “It gives motivated nursing staff hope, it could make the framework conditions of the nursing profession more attractive for trainees and students, and also win back people who have left the profession or have moved into temporary employment contracts.”
When you ask responsible management staff in nursing what the reason is, they cite overload or the attempt to prevent chronic overload as the main reasons.
“32 days of incapacity to work per year and employee already mean that companies have to employ a large amount of additional staff for compensation, e.g. through leasing companies. Or the remaining staff has to be additionally burdened with overtime, which triggers a vicious circle of lack of rest, overload, and high levels of sick leave,” says Almut Meyer from the SPD in Frankfurt. Therefore, new approaches in nursing have to be tried out and new working models have to be approached with an open mind.
“With the pilot project ‘Improving Working Conditions in Nursing’, the ideal case is to identify and resolve exactly these negative points,” explains Yanki Pürsün, chairman of the FDP faction in Frankfurt. “We are interested in whether the 4-day week can improve working conditions and quality of life for nursing staff and how this also affects the well-being of those in care.”
Britta Wollkopf, health policy spokeswoman for the Volt faction in Frankfurt, also welcomes the initiative: “Evidence-based policy means recognizing the promising study results on the 4-day week and achieving progress on important issues of our time, such as the nursing crisis.”
The pilot project is to be scientifically monitored in order to gain important insights into long-term effects and to investigate what contribution the 4-day week can make to solving the existential future problems in nursing. With NR 654 “Improving Working Conditions in Nursing”, the coalition in Frankfurt is submitting a motion that holds future hope for many of our caregivers.