Four-day workweek trial an 'overwhelming success' in Iceland

WION Web Team
NEW DELHI Updated: Jul 06, 2021, 04:24 PM(IST)

The report observed that employers do not expect any further significant impact of the pandemic on the market and are buoyant about future business plans.  Photograph:( DNA )

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Employees from a range of professions — including workplaces, kindergartens, social service providers, and hospitals — switched from a 40-hour work week to a 35- or 36-hour work week as part of the trial, but were paid the same salary. 

Trials of a four-day work week in Iceland have been hailed as a "overwhelming success," with studies finding that the project increased productivity and improved workers' total well-being. 

The Association for Sustainable Democracy (Alda) in Iceland and the UK-based think tank Autonomy announced the results of two large-scale experiments of a shorter working week with no pay cut that took place from 2015 to 2019. 

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The study included 2,500 workers, which is roughly 1% of Iceland's working-age population.

In Iceland, employees from a range of professions — including workplaces, kindergartens, social service providers, and hospitals — switched from a 40-hour work week to a 35- or 36-hour work week as part of the trial, but were paid the same salary. 

Despite concerns a shorter working week would unintentionally lead to overwork, the results of the trials "directly contradict this", the report found.

Approximately 86 per cent of Iceland's working population has "now either transitioned to working fewer hours or earned the right to work shorter hours." 

The trials also resulted in a significant rise in worker happiness, as measured by a variety of variables ranging from perceived stress and burnout to health and work-life balance. 

(With inputs from agencies)

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