Four-day week-long trial in Iceland ‘a resounding success’ Bedford News

The trial was successful, say the researchers. (Photo: Shutterstock)

The four-day workweek trials in Iceland were an “overwhelming success”, according to the researchers, leading many employees to permanently reduce their hours.

The trials took place between 2015 and 2019 and saw workers pay the same amount to work fewer hours. Productivity was found to stay the same or increase in the majority of workplaces.

The trials took place in Reykjavík and included 2,500 workers, with a range of different workplaces, including nurseries, offices and hospitals.

Workers involved in the study reported feeling less stressed and having a better work-life balance, while productivity generally stayed the same or improved.

The trials led unions to renegotiate hours, with 86% of the workforce shifting to or entitled to shorter hours for the same pay.

A number of other trials are currently being conducted around the world, notably in Spain and by Unilever in New Zealand.

Will Stronge, Research Director at Autonomy, said: “This study shows that the world’s largest trial of a shorter workweek in the public sector was by all accounts a resounding success.

“This shows that the public sector is ripe to pioneer shorter work weeks – and lessons can be learned for other governments.”

Gudmundur Haraldsson, researcher at Alda, said: “The shorter workweek journey in Iceland tells us that not only is it possible to work less in modern times, but that gradual change is also possible.

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This notice was published: 2021-07-06 17:18:06

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