DESPITE the political battle that has erupted in Madrid, which could open the door to two very odd scenarios - the extreme right could take control of Madrid while the independence parties (left and right) could take control of Barcelona, Spain’s second most important capital - there is another very important motion doing the rounds and which is gathering support: a four-day week.

Spain could become one of the first countries in the world to trial the four-day working week after the government agreed to launch a modest pilot project for companies interested in the idea.

Earlier this year, the small left-wing Spanish party Más País, created by the original co-founder of Podemos, Iñigo Errejón, announced that the government had accepted its proposal to test out the idea. From New Zealand to Germany, the idea has been steadily gaining ground globally.

Hailed by proponents as a means to increase productivity, improve the mental health of workers and fight climate change, the proposal has taken on new significance as the pandemic sharpens issues around well-being, burnout and work-life balance.

Errejón maintains that while Spain has some of the longest working days in Europe, it is one of the least productive countries and therefore now is the time for change, considering that working habits have changed so much lately.