30-hour workweek experiment

Working time has been decreasing since the beginning of the 20th century, due to increases in technological productivity. However, in some countries this trend has reversed in the last decades. Arguments for a shorter workweek start to rise again.

Femma has been advocating for a shorter workweek since years. As a women’s organisation, work-life balance is one of their priorities. In 2019 Femma will put their words into action and start with a 30-hour workweek with full pay for all employees.

TOR will help research the effects of this shorter workweek on work and life. What will they do with their newly gained available time? Will they have more time for themselves, their family and their friends? Will this make them happier?Modern multi-tasking housewife with multiple hands



Contact us

Promotor of the project
Prof. Ignace Glorieux


Francisca Mullens

Femma experimenteert met 30-urige werkweek. De Standaard – October 3rd 2018
De kortere werkweek, we beginnen er gewoon mee. De Morgen- December 15th 2017
Een 30-urenweek voor meer gendergelijkheid. Samenleving & Politiek, 24(2), 2017



Femma is a dynamic women’s movement. They bring women together in local groups all around Flanders and Brussels to meet other women and participate in a wide range of activities and workshops.

Femma is also a modern organisation that has clear views on humankind and society. Therefore, they want to join the conversation on what women think, feel and experience today. They keep a close watch on women’s rights.


Want to Learn more about the experiment or support it?


Research design

Research Design

In 2017 Femma approached TOR concerning their experiment. Together they discussed the research design. As it is important for measuring the effects, it was decided to collect data before, during and after the experiment.

In 2018, two moments of data collection will take place:

  • March 2018: zero-measurement to capture the normal 36-hour workweek.
  • October 2018: zero-measurement to capture possible changes and expectations for 2019.

In 2019, the experiment starts. Two new moments of data collection will take place:

  • March 2019: measurement of short time effects of a shorter workweek.
  • October 2019: measurement of long(er) time effects of a shorter workweek.
  • December 31st 2019: end of the experiment

In 2020, all Femma employees will go back to their normal 36-hour workweek.

  • March 2020: post-measurement on the changes when going back to a longer workweek.


Every moment of data collection we will ask the employees to keep a time diary for 7 consecutive days and to fill in two questionnaires, one before and one after the diary. Employees can freely choose a week to keep their diary within the time range of a month.

Life partners

While Femma employees are obliged to take part in the research, the partners of Femma employees can take part voluntarily. Data of the partners will be linked to that of the employees to get an even better picture of the effects of working time reduction on family life and relationships.



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