Four day working week trial reports success
A significant trial of a four-day working week in Iceland has been an ‘overwhelming success. 2,500 people, which accounts for 1% of the Icelandic working population, participated in the trial whereby working hours were cut to 35-36 hours with no reduction in pay.
Analysts have now suggested that the resultant rise in productivity and wellbeing means that more countries should be considering introducing a four-day working week.
According to the Icelandic Trade Union Federations, which collectively negotiate wages and conditions for most Icelandic employees, many companies that took part in the trial have negotiated reduced working hours permanently as a result.
The experiment took place in the three years before the Covid pandemic and included a mix of traditional nine-to-five employees and those on non-standard shift patterns. Since the trial, 86% of Iceland’s entire working population now has either reduced hours or flexibility within their contracts to lower hours.
So what are the benefits of a four day working week?
The trial has found a significant increase in worker wellbeing, reduced stress and lower levels of burnout – all of which been reportedly increased in many countries as a result of the pandemic.
Researchers have also found that productivity and work-life balance were significantly improved.
As we move back into more normalised working as the pandemic effects ease, perhaps a four day working week is one of the suggestions to consider, along with hybrid working!