Ulrich Reinhardt, scientific director of the Foundation for Future Issues, presented his new book “This is how Germany works” at the Ludwig Erhard summit of the Weimer Media Group on Lake Tegernsee and then discussed some of the results of the study on which the book is based. book. It is based on a group of experts.

One of the topics under discussion was the four-day week, which is currently the subject of heated debates in economics, politics and society. According to Reinhardt's study, those who are not yet 35 consider it especially good, unlike those over 55. “For the younger generation, work is not just about making money, but also about self-actualization and living in the here and now,” Reinhardt explained.

According to Reinhardt, a look at other countries such as Spain, Belgium and Iceland shows that the four-day week works. An Oxford study also shows advantages such as less burnout, more productivity and fewer days of absence. The four-day week certainly has potential: “A German employee spends an average of two hours a day not being productive.”

“Eliminate coffee consumption”

Audi board member Hildegard Wortmann can perfectly imagine that “a week's work can be done in four days if we eliminate the two-hour coffee break.” But the four-day week is often a stressful argument. “And in four days it will be even more stressful.” She “wouldn't want to miss the chat at the coffee machine.”

Astrid Hamker, chairwoman of the CDU Economic Council, clearly spoke out against the four-day week. Germany couldn't afford something like that. “We have to go back to meritocracy,” Hammerer demanded. It's about making it clear to the younger generation: “Prosperity did not fall from the sky.” “We should link retirement age to life expectancy,” she demanded. In light of growing demographic pressure on the labor market, she warned: “We already have structural problems and geographic disadvantages.”

The second job next to the first.

Katharina Roehrig, CEO of Communication and Sustainability at Melitta, interjected that employees were asking her about the four-day week, but not about full salary compensation. “Often the reason is that on the fifth day the person still has their own small business, so these people are willing to give up their salary.” Whether a four-day week is yes or no, for her, is a question of the intention behind the desire.

“The four-day week is not a problem for us,” says KPMG Regional Director Angelika Huber-Straßer. She has colleagues who would like to work more than 40 hours. In general there is a lack of flexibility. It must be possible to increase and decrease the working day depending on the employees' living situation.

You can follow Ludwig Erhard's summit live at www.leg-live.de. You can find the summit ticker here.

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