The future of work: embracing the four-day, 32-hour workweek with AFAS


Living Tomorrow, dedicated to exploring the future of work, is sharing its insights on a groundbreaking initiative by our esteemed partner, AFAS Software. This forward-thinking company has taken a bold step towards redefining the traditional work paradigm by introducing a four-day, 32-hour workweek for all its employees.

AFAS' pioneering move

AFAS Software, a leading provider of ERP software, recently announced a revolutionary change in their work culture. Starting January 1, 2025, the company's offices will be closed on Fridays, granting all 700 employees a "development day" – a day dedicated to personal growth, relaxation, and pursuing activities that truly matter to them. However, it's crucial to note that AFAS' four-day workweek differs from the typical model found in other companies. AFAS employees will work four days a week, but their total weekly hours will be reduced from the standard 40 hours to 32 hours, while continuing to receive the same pay, bonuses, benefits, and vacation time.

According to AFAS CEO Belgium Machiel den Dekker, "We are in a sort of rat race to boost productivity, but any increase in profits usually goes to the owners and shareholders of a company, not the workers. Introducing a four-day week can change that."[1] AFAS expects that the introduction of artificial intelligence will further boost productivity, allowing the company to continue paying employees for 40 hours while they work only 32 hours per week.[1][2]

The pros and cons: a candid conversation

Let's have an honest discussion about the potential benefits and challenges of AFAS' four-day, 32-hour workweek model.

Will it improve work-life balance? Absolutely! With an extra day off, employees can attend to personal matters, spend more time with family and friends, and pursue hobbies and interests, leading to increased job satisfaction and reduced burnout. As one expert noted, "Don't aim for success if you want it; just do what you love and believe in, and it will come naturally."[3] This sentiment aligns with the AFAS approach, as they seek to create an environment where employees can thrive both professionally and personally.

But wait, can productivity really increase with fewer working hours? Surprisingly, yes, according to AFAS. They believe that with the help of AI, employees can maintain or even increase their productivity in fewer hours, benefiting both the company and its workers.[1][4] It's like the old saying goes, "Work smarter, not harder." And who wouldn't want to be more productive in less time? Although, we can't help but wonder if employees might feel pressured to work longer hours on their remaining days, potentially leading to burnout and decreased productivity. It's a valid concern that AFAS will need to address.

And let's not forget the big question: Will the impact on salaries and benefits be significant? This is a crucial question, as AFAS plans to continue paying employees for 40 hours while they work only 32 hours per week.[3][4] It's like getting a free day off every week, but will there be any hidden costs or trade-offs? Only time will tell.

The future of work

The four-day, 32-hour workweek introduced by AFAS is a pioneering move that aligns with Living Tomorrow's vision of shaping the future of work. As a partner in this journey, we share AFAS' commitment to fostering a work culture that prioritizes employee well-being, productivity, and sustainability.

With the rise of remote work and flexible schedules, the traditional five-day workweek is no longer the only option. As AFAS Software and other companies experiment with these new models, we can expect to see significant changes in the way we work and live. At Living Tomorrow, we believe in proactive collaboration between all stakeholders to create valuable jobs in a thriving society, and AFAS' initiative is a step in the right direction.


The four-day, 32-hour workweek is a promising trend that offers numerous benefits, from improved work-life balance to increased productivity and environmental sustainability. While there are challenges to consider, the potential advantages make it an attractive option for companies looking to innovate and stay ahead of the curve. As we move forward, it will be essential to continue monitoring the impact of these new models, addressing the concerns that arise, and drawing insights from academic research and industry leaders like AFAS Software.

The future of work is here, and it's time to adapt. Who knows, maybe we'll all be working four-day, 32-hour weeks and enjoying three-day weekends in the not-so-distant future. Now, wouldn't that be a dream come true? At Living Tomorrow, we are committed to exploring and shaping this future, one innovative step at a time.


[1] NL Times. (2024). All 700 AFAS Software employees will move to four-day work week for same pay. Information retrieved here.

[2] (2024). Dutch software firm shifts to four-day weeks for five days pay. Information retrieved here.

[3] Jobgether. (2023). Remote Jobs and 4-Day Workweek: The Ultimate in Flexibility? Information retrieved here.

[4] CNBC. (2023). Workers Most Likely to Say a 4-Day Workweek Would Improve Productivity. Information retrieved here.

[5] Springer. (2023). The four-day work week: a chronological, systematic review of the academic literature. Information retrieved here.

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