The Femma-experiment. Investigating the effects of a 30-hour workweek on employees’ time-use and their wellbeing

he Femma-experiment offers research group TOR an excellent opportunity to investigate the effects of a 30-hour workweek on the employees’ time-use but also on their wellbeing and that of their partners and children. For this experiment, research group TOR collaborated with Femma. Femma is a Flemish non-profit organization, counting 63 employees. Femma strives for ‘more time and happiness’ for women, men and society. For years they have been advocating for a 30-hour workweek, as they believe it would promote more equality between women and men. As policy makers in Belgium still do not believe in a collective reduction of working hours, Femma decided to put their ideas into action within their own organization. In 2019, all Femma employees will work 30 hours a week for a whole year at a full-time wage. 

 

There are five different moments of data collection in a period of 3 years: two measuring points before the start of the experiment (2018); two during the experiment (2019); and one in 2020 when the employees go back to their normal 36-hour workweek (2020). Each time, employees and partners will keep track of their activities in an online diary (MOTUS platform) for one whole week. The 7-day diaries are accompanied by two questionnaires, one before and one after the diary. In these questionnaires questions about their household situation, expectations, desires and attitudes are asked.