In 2018, German metal-industry workers won the right to reduce their working week from 35 to 28 hours. As with similar schemes elsewhere, sustainability commentators have highlighted the potential of working-time reduction not just to achieve a better work–life balance but also to reduce energy consumption by reducing overall material consumption. This research project examines the desirability and sustainability of this scheme, paying particular attention to the conditions under which reduced working hours can produce social and environmental benefits. What are participants’ aspirations ? What are the impacts on their mobility and lifestyle ? Is the reduction of direct and indirect energy consumption as significant as expected ?
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