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07 July 2021

The 4-day working week is a great success in Iceland.


    Workers and bosses have emerged as the winners of a pilot project in Iceland that aims to test the impact of the four-day working week, Global News reports.

From 2015 to 2019, 2,500 employees from different business sectors participated in this large study. Coincidentally, this sample represents just under 1% of the population.

Thus, the participating companies reduced their working hours from 40 to 35 or 36 hours per week.

At the same time, employers have increased the productivity of their workers, reducing the number of meetings and reorganizing work shifts.

"A resounding success"

And the conclusions of the study are quite clear: the experience was very positive for employees who said they saw their well-being increase significantly. 

Many have seen their stress levels decrease and have found a better balance between personal and professional life.

The researchers in charge of the study also indicated that in most of the participating companies the level of productivity increased or remained the same.

"This study shows that the largest pilot project in the world, with shorter working weeks, has been a surprising success," the study leader said in a statement.

As a result of this pilot project, Icelandic unions have also pressured the establishment of a four-day week at all jobs.

To date, 86% of workers in the Nordic country have already adopted this type of scheme or could do so in the near future, say researchers who worked on this study.

The latter also hope that other nations will adopt this model and reduce their weekly working hours of the population.

A model for other countries?

Managers and employees were unanimously satisfied with the implementation of this operation. 86% of Icelandic workers, in the public and private sectors, now benefit from reduced working hours or greater flexibility in their employment contracts, which allows them to reduce their working hours.

This madness could be imitated in other countries.