The 5-hour working day - the revolution of the working time model?

Georg Salzmann

Georg Salzmann

October 7, 2023 • 3 minutes read

In recent years, the way we work has changed considerably. We are talking flexibility, work-life balance and the search for more efficient working models. In this article, we take a closer look at the 5-hour working day and its increasing relevance in companies around the world.

5 Stunden Arbeitstag

Globalization, technological advances and changing workforce expectations have led to a rethink of the traditional working day of eight hours per day.

The 5-hour working day - a Definition

The 5-hour working day is a working time model in which working time is limited to five hours per day instead of the usual eight hours, while keeping the salary of an eight hour day. This model is based on the idea that employees can be just as productive, if not more productive, in the given five hours.

Advantages of the 5-hour working day

Increased productivity: Shorter working days encourage employees to work more efficiently and prioritize their tasks.

Better work-life balance: Employees have more time for family, friends and hobbies, which leads to a better quality of life. This can also prevent burn-outs.

Less exhaustion: Shorter working days reduce exhaustion, as there are more opportunities to relax outside of working hours.

Employee retention: Companies that introduce the 5-hour working day attract talented specialists and keep them in the company for longer.

Companies that have introduced the 5-hour working day

Many companies have already successfully introduced this increasingly popular working time model. Here are a few of the best known names.

**Microsoft Japan As part of an experiment, Microsoft Japan introduced the 5-hour workday and saw a 40 percent increase in productivity!

Perpetual Guardian This New Zealand company introduced the 5-hour working day and reported a significant improvement in work-life balance and employee satisfaction.

**Icebreaker A New Zealand company that manufactures outdoor clothing introduced the 5-hour working day and noticed a significant increase in employee satisfaction and creativity.

Employee Satisfaction - Key to Success

Imagine your company as an orchestra in which each instrument plays an important role in creating melodies. Similarly, satisfied employees are the notes that determine the sound of the company and make the tone of success resonate throughout the workplace.


Challenges and concerns

Despite the stated benefits of a 5-hour workday, there are also challenges and concerns that need to be considered. These include:

Workload: In some cases, the workload could be difficult to manage in five hours, especially in certain industries or roles.

Communication: Shorter working hours may require better communication and time management to ensure key tasks are completed.

Transition: The transition to a 5-hour working day requires careful planning and implementation to ensure productivity is not affected.

Success stories

A look at companies that have successfully introduced the 5-hour working day shows that it is possible to reduce working hours and still be productive. The experience of Microsoft Japan and other companies shows that the right balance between work and leisure is achievable.


A somewhat better-known alternative that is also gaining in popularity is the 4-day week. The idea is simple: instead of working five days a week, employees reduce their working hours to four days, with the same salary.


The 5-hour working day is an exciting working time model that is gaining ground in companies around the world. It offers the opportunity to improve work-life balance, increase employee satisfaction and boost productivity. Although there are challenges, the growing number of companies adopting this model shows that it can be a promising solution to the demands of the modern working world. Companies looking to shape the future should consider a 5-hour workday as a way to revolutionize the way their workforce works.

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