Ask anyone who works full time and they will tell you, it would be a dream to drop down to a four-day workweek. There is been a lot of resistance to this possibility over the years, but according to a study conducted in Iceland, it may just be beneficial for everyone involved.
Between 2015 and 2019, the Association for Sustainable Democracy in Iceland worked along with Thinktank Autonomy to test out a four-day workweek. As it turns out, the 2500 workers associated with the trial experienced an improvement in their well-being but did not experience a drop in their productivity.
The workers who were tested worked between 35 and 36 hours per week. They were taking part in a variety of jobs, including working in hospitals, offices, and doing other tasks.
The individuals who were part of this study, which was started by the government in Iceland, received full pay and were able to maintain their productivity. They had less stress and burnout and a better work-life balance.
This wasn’t just a study that came and went, it has influenced the workforce in Iceland so that 86% of the workers are now working reduced hours or are slated to do so.
According to one of the researchers who spoke with BBC, the shorter workweek in Iceland lets us know that it is possible to work less and changes can come about quickly.
The director of research at Autonomy, Will Stronge, also spoke up on the subject, saying: “This study shows that the world’s largest-ever trial of a shorter working week in the public sector was by all measures an overwhelming success.”
In addition to what is happening in Iceland, other countries are also taking part in similar experiments. According to The Guaridna, Spain is moving toward a four-day workweek as are Canada and New Zealand, who are testing something similar.SKM: below-content placeholder