Investigating the 32-hour work week

RTL Television, May 2016
Interest in flexible working models is growing, and more and more organizations are catching on. Curious to know how it all works, RTL put together a news package dedicated to the issue, dropping by our Berlin studio to interview our CEO Nancy Birkhölzer and team members to find out more about our 32-hour work week. The package was featured on RTL Nachtjournal on May 3 and again the next morning on Guten Morgen Deutschland. Here’s a summary of how the clip played out.
Studio introduction

Working four days a week instead of five? Sounds good, but is it possible? There are many companies trying to enable their employees to have more spare time. Who’s doing this and why? 


"For many, working four days instead of five would be heaven on earth. The employees at Berlin based design studio IXDS are doing just that, working 32 hours a week. And they can decide if they distribute those hours across four or five days."

Nancy Birhölzer

“The main advantage is that we’re all much happier at work, because we have more time for side projects."


"And it’s good for the company, too, because the employees are more creative and have better ideas; for example, coming up with new innovations for networked domestic appliances or medical products (see our participatory health and connected living hubs).

With this model they are earning just 80% of a normal salary. But, according to the staff, it’s worth it."

Hannes Netzmann, CTO IXDS labs

"In that spare time you can deal with things you would usually have to take time off for or do over the weekends."

Katina Sostmann, IXDS Design Lead Continuous Learning

"I’m a mother of five children, which means that I often need to be at home at unpredictable times; for example, when there are issues at school. This gives me the flexibility to do that."


"But a four-day work week is not suitable for every business or customer group."

Christoph Schröder, Institut der deutschen Wirtschaft

"The four-day work week has to fit into the operational methods and processes of a company, which is why this could be a problem in bigger companies. So it would be difficult to determine the four-day work week by law."


"So there may not be a standard law for the four-day work week in the future, but companies that have established it are already working on the next steps."


"Time should not be measured, rather the result. How can we do that? We're working on that this year."