Alternativet politician testing feasibility of 30-hour week

Stephen Gadd
October 30th, 2018

This article is more than 5 years old.

Denmark scores highly in polls when it comes to the work-life balance, but increasing numbers of people complain that they are suffering from stress

It’s a popular belief that politicians finish near the bottom of the list when it comes to the number of hours they put in at work. After all, their ‘summer holiday’ starts after Constitution Day on June 5 and only finishes on the first Tuesday in October.

READ ALSO: Danes best at balancing work and private life

Nevertheless, one of the manifesto commitments in the program developed by the Alternativet party is that it should be possible for people to work 30 hours per week instead of the usual 37 – and that also includes politicians.

MP and group chair René Gade proposes he will put this into practice by working 30 hours a week for a 14-day period, reports BT.

More structured working
Gade hopes to achieve this by answering emails only once a day; using his mobile solely for texting, SoMe and speaking; demanding and providing agendas for all meetings; and agreeing his calendar for the week ahead on the previous Friday.

“It’s a no-brainer to try out Alternativet’s own strategy. Just think – it might lead to better habits and me being able to free up more time and energy so that I can live better,” said Gade.

Gade is used to working almost 50 hours a week and extensive travelling, as he lives in Silkeborg with his wife and two young children.

Possible savings
The exercise could also end up saving money. “When I’m sitting here in my role as group chair, I’ve sometimes said to people that the true cost of the meeting is somewhere in the region of 20,000 kroner when you take into consideration the total working hours and transport,” said Gade.

“It is important to get people to realise that we need to take each other and each other’s time seriously.”

Gade hopes his experiment will also make other people consider how they use their time.

“I’m really going to try and keep up these good habits, whilst making sure that what I do creates value. I think many people could learn from that so we don’t waste our time with ‘pseudo work’ in the form of long meetings or always being online,” said Gade.


Subscribe to our newsletter

Sign up to receive The Daily Post

Latest Podcast