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Iceland’s four-day week dubbed “overwhelming success”

Researchers revealed that the country’s trial boosted productivity despite less hours worked.

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The idea of a four-day work week has been touted for some time now, with both Spain and Unilever in New Zealand trailing it.

 

Now Iceland has revealed that its trials of a four-day week were an “overwhelming success” and helped encourage many workers to move to shorter hours.

 

Back in 2015 and 2019 the trials took place in the country, where workers were paid the same amount but for less hours.

 

Researchers claimed that as a result productivity remained the same or improved in the majority of workplaces, reported the BBC.

 

The trials were run by Reykjavík City Council and the national government, which eventually included more than 2,500 workers, amounting to one percent of Iceland’s working population.

 

According to researchers from UK think tank Autonomy and the Association for Sustainable Democracy (ALDA) many of the workers transitioned from a 40-hour week to a 35 or 36 hour one in Iceland.

 

They resulted in unions renegotiating working patterns, which has now seen 86% of Iceland’s workforce move to shorter hours for the same pay or will gain the right to do so.

 

Workers also reported feeling less stressed and less at risk of burnout, citing that their health and work-life balance had improved.

 

Companies reducing hours

Other businesses are also tackling the amount of hours employees work with the addition of extra holiday for example.

 

Recently social media company and dating app Bumble announced it would allow staff to enjoy a paid week off in an effort to help with burnout.

 

Elsewhere, LinkedIn introduced a policy known as “discretionary time off” back in 2015, meaning that employees have no set minimum or maximum amount of annual leave they can use in a year.

 

Lastly, Patagonia encourages its employees to take regular surf breaks. While based in the US, this perk which helps to reduce office hours highlights the importance of giving staff breaks to maintain productivity.

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