Six-Day Workweek: Impact on Worker Health

Two construction workers looking through a tube.

Greece has started a six-day working week for some jobs. This began in July. Workers in certain sectors can now work up to 48 hours a week. This is more than the usual 40 hours. Workers get a 40% pay increase for the extra hours. But this new rule is different from the trend of four-day workweeks in Europe and the US.

The Jobs Affected

The new rule targets businesses that run 24 hours a day. This includes:

  1. 24/7 Businesses: These are sectors that need to run all the time. Examples are healthcare, emergency services, and some manufacturing.
  2. Businesses Running 24 Hours, 5 or 6 Days a Week: These do not run every day but have long hours. Examples are logistics and transport services.

Tourism and food industries are not included.

Environmental Impact

The six-day working week can affect the environment in several ways:

  1. More Energy Use: More work hours mean more use of buildings and factories. This leads to higher energy use and a bigger carbon footprint unless energy-saving methods are used.
  2. More Transport Emissions: Longer work hours can mean more commuting. This leads to more greenhouse gas emissions.
  3. More Resource Use: Industries running 24/7 might use more water and raw materials. This can cause more environmental damage if not managed well.

Balancing Growth and the Environment

The Greek government hopes this rule will reduce undeclared work and boost growth. But businesses and workers need to think about the environmental impact. Here are some tips to reduce negative effects:

  1. Use Energy-Efficient Methods: Businesses can use energy-efficient lights and heating. Smart building tech can also help save energy.
  2. Promote Green Commuting: Carpooling, public transport, and cycling can reduce the environmental impact. Offering rewards for green transport can help too.
  3. Reduce Waste and Recycle: Industries should try to produce less waste and recycle more. Proper waste sorting and using recyclable materials can help.
  4. Support Work from Home: Letting employees work from home can reduce commuting and office energy use.

Why a Six-Day Work Week is Bad for Well-being

Even though the six-day workweek aims to boost productivity, it can harm well-being and health. Nurturing the spirit and soul will also be next to impossible if there is no time to relax.

  1. More Stress and Burnout: Working longer hours can lead to more stress and burnout. It’s harder to relax and recharge, which is bad for health.
  2. Less Family and Personal Time: With an extra workday, there’s less time for family, friends, and hobbies. This can make people feel unhappy.
  3. Poor Work-Life Balance: Longer work hours can disrupt the balance between work and personal life. It’s important to have time for both to stay healthy.
  4. Health Issues: Longer workweeks can lead to mental health issues like anxiety and depression, and physical health problems from lack of rest and exercise.

Taking Care of Well-being

To cope with longer work hours, it’s important to care for your health. Here are some tips:

  1. Mindfulness and Meditation: These can help manage stress. Even a few minutes during breaks can help a lot.
  2. Regular Exercise: Exercise can boost energy and well-being. A morning jog, yoga, or a walk can help stay healthy. Taking time during lunch to exercise can also be beneficial.
  3. Healthy Eating: Eating nutritious meals and staying hydrated can improve health and mental sharpness.
  4. Work-Life Balance: Set clear boundaries between work and personal time. Make sure to have time for hobbies, family, and relaxation to prevent burnout.


Greece’s six-day working week policy aims to boost the economy. But it is different from the trend towards shorter workweeks. As industries adapt, it’s crucial to balance growth with care for the environment and well-being. By using green practices and caring for health, businesses and workers can thrive while protecting the planet.

By admin

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