Shorter work week trials reap success

Who knows? Maybe one day, a 40-hour workweek will become a thing of the past.

BUZZ Fam, trials of shorter workweek held in Iceland has seen “overwhelming success”, and we’re just hoping the rest of the world can adapt to this new way of doing things.

 The trials were run by Reykjavík City Council and the national government. They saw public-sector employees taking part in two large trials between 2015 and 2019 worked 35-36 hours per week, with no reduction in pay.

The trials involved 2,500 people, more than 1% of Iceland’s working population, and were aimed at maintaining or increasing productivity while improving work-life balance. 

And the results were fascinating! Not only did worker well-being increase “dramatically” across a range of indicators such as perceived stress and burnout to health and work-life balance, but the researchers found that productivity and services stayed the same or improved across the majority of workplaces.

After the study was completed, trade unions in Iceland advocated for shorter workweeks, and now more 86 per cent of the country’s workforce are now working shorter hours.