This Dutch company is giving employees Fridays off (and paying them for it)

The weekend starts early for some ๐Ÿ˜Ž

As far as days of the week go, Friday already has a good feeling about it. Now staff at the Dutch software company AFAS can enjoy it even more, as it’s a day off โ€” fully paid.

The Netherlands is already renowned for its great work-life balance. So AFAS, based in Leusden, are raising the bar even higher with their four-day working week structure, NOS shares.

The company refers to Fridays as “development days” intended for volunteering and self-care โ€” using the time meaningfully, without work emails in sight.

Oh, and it’s paid, of course.

Productivity leads to perks

We know what you’re thinking: Surely they need to hire more people to cover on Fridays? Or do they expect their staff to work longer hours for the rest of the week?

READ MORE | Vacation, free time and working hours in the Netherlands: all you need to know

Nope, it seems there’s no catch. Even employees who need to cover customer service on Fridays can take their “development day” on Wednesday.

AFAS can afford to introduce the four-day working week in this way because they have seen a huge rise in productivity levels, which are only getting better.

Perhaps that’s why they trust their staff not to assume “development days” mean lying outside all day *developing* a tan.

“Netflixing all day, or still working hard at another company, for example, is not our preference,” the company told its employees. โ€œBut we’re not going to control what you do.โ€

More doors close on Fridays

In fact, those who do work on Friday will soon have to do it remotely. Starting next year, AFAS’ (fancy) head office in Leusden will be shut every Friday.

Other Dutch companies are doing the same: the doors of de Volksbank head office in Utrecht are also closed on Fridays, now an official work-from-home day for the bank.

“The occupancy was so low on Fridays that this was decided,” a spokesperson tells NOS. “This way, we can also reduce costs and, for example, prevent energy waste.”

If you were wondering why the Netherlands is so happy and has some of the highest well-being levels in Europe, maybe look no further than their Friday attitude.

What do you think of working a four-day week? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Feature Image:Depositphotos
Lottie Gale ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง
Lottie Gale ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง
Lottie joins DutchReview as an editorial intern after gaining a Bachelorโ€™s in English from her native England. She continues to pursue all things literature in her MA Literature Today at Utrecht University. She is loving life here, and the ever-looming rainclouds often make it feel like a home from home. Lottie arrived to complete her studies and hone her writing skills โ€” sheโ€™ll stay for the Dutch tranquility, tulips and tompouce.


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