Will Stronge, co-director of Autonomy, says Iceland’s 4-day workweek trial was overwhelmingly positive for people involved. Productivity remained about equal or improved at some points compared to before this new experiment began. Parents described their mornings as less hectic! Many men reported using additional free time to do housework instead. Employers also noticed an increased awareness among employees who were taking fewer sick days while appearing more energised on duty. All add up to one fantastic conclusion: reduced hours can benefit us seriously.
Iceland’s 4-day workweek trial
Iceland’s major trial was launched in 2015 by the country’s federal government and Reykjavik City Council. A total of 2 500 employees could reduce their work schedules from 40 hours per week to 35 or 36 without salary cuts. Though many people interviewed said they found free time within these compressed days for cutting out meetings that had been scheduled at least partially during office hours (or even eliminating some). Coffee breaks became less leisurely as well because there just needed to be more time left after getting things done before heading off again on another long stretch of busyness.
The 4-day workweek is a modern marvel met with overwhelming success in Iceland. The country’s productivity levels are much higher than other nations with longer working hours. They’re taking it upon themselves to help correct this imbalance by giving their citizens more time off from employment!
Today 86% of all Icelandic workers have shifted gears or claimed rights towards shorter weeks. Icelandic people benefit most because these measures boost happiness and increase leisure expenditure which drives Economic growth.
More time for family
The new report paints a more pleasant picture for many families, with additional time spent on hobbies and hanging out with friends. One father said his older children know he has shorter hours now because they often ask him if it’s Tuesday. When Reform Day comes around before school starts back up again in the afternoon, their dad always replies, “Of course!” They’ll do something fun together after reform day, cook dinner or clean up the house (typically motherly duties).
Some companies worry that employees with a heavy workload will be under additional stress when asked to perform at an increased pace. Employees report handing off instructions and organising training sessions or events like goodbye parties become more complex, which might make it difficult for them during their reduced hours of work per week.
The 4-day workweek has been sparing during this pandemic. Now that we are out of danger, it’s becoming more popular. Surveys found that many employees reported burnout symptoms due to workload. We can expect companies to embrace the reduced schedule in years ahead due to the increased demands of their staff. Iceland’s recent experience is one example where a greater sense of dignity was trumpeted among its population following their experiment.
With the right partner, you can grow your business in a way that is both quick and compliant. Our international workforce partners are experienced in helping growing companies to reach new heights across borders worldwide. Take advantage of our EOR services which automatically send support payments made by employers like yourself – all handled promptly every month. Contact us today to speak with our experts about switching to a 4-day workweek!