BERLIN, 23. Mai 2022 – Employees at the privacy tech startup Xayn will now be spending their Fridays with their families, enjoying their hobbies, and relaxing thanks to the company-wide adoption of the four-day workweek structure. The Berlin-based company has reduced its standard working hours from 40 to 32 hours since April 2022, with no change in salary or vacation.
"The old 40-hour model with mandatory attendance is antiquated and poorly suited to the needs and lives of today’s employees. Good ideas, creativity, and productivity do not confine themselves to a 9-to-5 schedule. We’re embracing that mindset by offering our team even more freedom to work in a way that is catered to fit to the modern workplace and the everyday realities of their personal lives," explains Beatrice Kahl, Chief People Officer. "The new options were enthusiastically received by our teams. We've already noticed an increase in satisfaction, motivation, and productivity in the first few weeks."
Prior to the pandemic, Xayn already offered a range of flexible remote working options to employees. Employees have long been welcome to choose when and where they work and coordinate this with their respective teams. In addition, the AI company offers further training opportunities for the personal and professional development. With the allocation of a monthly budget, team members can enroll in external courses and enrichment activities suited to their own needs and interests, regardless of whether or not the courses are directly relevant to their role or professional focus.
"Our team consists of very qualified and motivated people from all over the world who want to balance their professional and personal lives. They volunteer, raise young children, continue their education, play sports or make music. And all of this distinguishes them as the valuable team members they are," emphasizes Leif-Nissen Lundbæk, co-founder and CEO. "We want to maintain and actively promote this diversity with measures such as the 4-day workweek, our continuing education program, and flexible new-work models."
Various companies and even entire countries already successfully introduced the four-day workweek. Iceland, for example, reduced working hours for 2,500 workers in the capital and national administration on a trial basis from 2015 to 2019, while keeping salaries unchanged. “Based on the analysis of a wide range of data, we can see that workers experienced significant increases in wellbeing and work-life balance — all while existing levels of service provision and productivity were at the very least maintained, and in some instances improved”, the study states. Employees in the accounting department of the capital Reykjavík, for example, processed 6.5% more invoices once they worked fewer hours. Since the completion of the successful trial, about 86% of workers are now working shorter hours without taking a pay cut, or have gained the right to do so.
Xayn, which was founded out of a research project at Oxford University and Imperial College London, combines privacy with powerful AI and convenience. The private Search Engine and just-launched News Assistant (Beta) provide users with personalized content recommendations while protecting their privacy and autonomy. Xayn’s technology is rooted in decentralized AI that stores all users' personal data on the devices.
The Berlin-based company Xayn provides users with a privacy-protected gateway to the Internet. Their private search engine presents users with personalised search results and a curated news stream – without ads or data collection. Xayn is based on decentralised edge AI made in Europe and ushers in a new generation of user-friendly privacy tech.
The AI company started as a research project at The University of Oxford and Imperial College London by Leif-Nissen Lundbæk (PhD) and Professor Michael Huth. Together with Felix Hahmann, they founded the tech company in 2017.
To this day, that academic vision remains with a workforce comprised of around 30% PhDs. The company also developed XayNet, the open-source framework for Masked Federated Learning. The start-up has received investment funding of 19.5 million EURO from Global Brain Corporation, KDDI Open Innovation Fund, Earlybird as well as Dominik Schiener. Xayn has worked with corporations such as Porsche, Daimler, Deutsche Bahn, and Siemens.
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