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Largest Ever Four-Day Work Week Trial Proves To Be An ‘Overwhelming Success’

The study took place between 2015-2019
05 Jul 2021, 08:00 PM
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Main image via Copronet + hrmasia

 

Many of us are very familiar with the fast-paced world we live in where every day seems to gel into one.

 

Weekdays and weekends blend into each other and most of us barely have time to enjoy the two-day weekend before we’re plunged back into a five-day work week.

 

It’s definitely exhausting.

 

via GIPHY

 

In the world’s largest trial into a four-day work week however, it has been proven that not only is working only four days a week beneficial, it also increases productivity.

 

Taking place in Iceland, the trial involved more than one percent of the entire population - which in 2019 was at 356,991.

 

Though Iceland may have a relatively low population, the trial is still the biggest study of its kind that has ever been undertaken, and its results should definitely give bigger countries something to ponder over.

 

The four-day work week trial was conducted by the Reykjavik city council and the national government of Iceland after pressure from unions and civilian groups.

 

The trial saw workers reducing their working hours to just 35 or 36 hours per week, with no pay reduction.

 

via GIPHY

 

The results of the trial pilot, which ran between 2015 and 2019, were analysed by research teams from both Iceland and the UK and they discovered that the productivity and well-being of the over 2,500 participants, increased.

 

Workers who work on a 9-5 schedule as well as those with non-standard shift patterns were also included in the study.

 

The resulting analysis of the study from think-tanks Autonomy in the UK and the Association fro the Sustainability and Democracy (Alda) from Iceland, discovered that the workers’ wellbeing improved drastically across many different indicators.

 

Work-life balance and stress reduced, as well as “burnout” from over-working.

 

Due to this finding, the study’s researchers shared that productivity and service provision remained the same or improved across the majority of workplaces.

 

via GIPHY

 

Iceland is currently considering more permanent changes in the working lifestyle of the country.

 

Since the trial, the Icelandic trade union federations - which are responsible for negotiating the wages and working conditions for most workers in the country, have already started to negotiate less working hours.

 

"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,” Alda researcher Gudmundur D. Haraldsson said.

 

"Our roadmap to a shorter working week in the public sector should be of interest to anyone who wishes to see working hours reduced."

 

Will Strong, Autonomy's director of research, added that ”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,” he said.  "Iceland has taken a big step towards the four-day working week, providing a great real-life example for local councils and those in the UK public sector considering implementing it here in the UK."

 

via GIPHY

 

Well, it’s clear that there are many benefits to a four-day work week.

 

We’re just hoping that something like that gets implemented in Malaysia soon… *cough hint cough*

 

Do you think a four-day work week would be beneficial? What would you do with your extra day of weekend? Let us know!

 

 

Info via LADBible

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