Four-day Working Week Trial In Iceland Has 'Overwhelming Success'

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Four-day Working Week Trial In Iceland Has 'Overwhelming Success'

Four-day week trials in Iceland leading many workers to move to shorter hours have been described as having an 'overwhelming success', according to researchers.


The trials took place between 2105 and 2019, and workers were paid the same amount for shorter hours.


In the majority of workplaces, productivity showed to increase or remain the same, according to researchers.


Many new trials are now being conducted across the world, including Unilever in New Zealand and workplaces in Spain.


The trials in Iceland were run by Reykjavík City Council, with the national government eventually including more than 2,500 workers, approximately 1% of the country's working population.


The workplaces that took part in the trials included offices, social service providers, preschools and hospitals.


Researchers from UK think tank Autonomy and the Association for Sustainable Democracy (Alda) in Iceland reported that many of the workplaces moved to a 35 to 36 hour week from the 40 hour week.


Researchers also reported that the trials led to negotiations of working patterns from unions and, as a result, 86% of Iceland's workforce has now either moved to shorter hours for the same pay or will gain the right to.


Workers reported a decreased risk of burnout as well as lower levels of stress, saying that their work-life balance was improved. This included, having more time available to spend with their families, take care of their household and do hobbies.


Director of research at Autonomy, Will Stronge, said:


"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. It shows that the public sector is ripe for being a pioneer of shorter working weeks - and lessons can be learned for other governments."


A researcher at Alda, Gudmundur Haraldsson, said:


"The Icelandic shorter working week journey tells us that not only is it possible to work less in modern times, but that progressive change is possible too."


Due to the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic, Spain is also piloting a four-day working week for companies.


And consumer goods giant Unilever is giving staff in New Zealand a chance to cut their hours by 20% without hurting their pay.


Platform London released a report in May which shows that cutting down on working hours can decrease the UK's carbon footprint.


[h/t: BBC]


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Thinking Humanity: Four-day Working Week Trial In Iceland Has 'Overwhelming Success'
Four-day Working Week Trial In Iceland Has 'Overwhelming Success'
Four-day week trials in Iceland have been described as having an 'overwhelming success', leading many workers to move to shorter hours, according to r
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