The main points in a nutshell

  • Two young people present their ideal working model
  • Debate about a four-day working week shapes the way we view meritocracy
  • A higher salary won’t always buy you more free time

Why was working from home always so frowned upon? What if people are actually more productive when they have more freedom? This is the kind of question that employers are asking themselves right now. But what do their employees think? We spoke to two 26-year-olds to find out: Sophie, an editor, and Florian, a transport logistics specialist.

Tell us: Are you happy with your current work schedule?

Sophie: I work at 90% capacity. I do shift work and always at irregular times, so I have to schedule each week differently and am not very flexible. It’s alright, though.

Florian: I work at 80% capacity. Since I do project work, I’m usually working as if at 100%, which isn’t ideal. I get good overtime pay, but looking back I should have just signed a contract to work a full week.

What do you think about a four-day work week?

Sophie: I think it’s a great idea. I could do as much in four days as in five!

Florian: Essentially I believe it’s a very good idea. But only so long as employees work as productively as possible, and don’t start looking ahead to the weekend on Thursdays, which can sometimes happen when Friday comes around.

What matters most to you: free time or money?

Sophie: Right now I’d say money, since it lets me finance my lifestyle. Working shifts doesn’t leave me with a lot of free time.

Florian: You need a balance between money and free time to enjoy both equally. I can only really appreciate my salary if I can find the time to spend the money on myself and use it for free-time activities.

What do you consider essential for a good standard of living?

Sophie: A secure income and being able to afford good food, eating out, and an apartment in the city.

Florian: Social and financial security, as well as organizations that can help me with any issues in these areas without hassle.

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