In a new report, researchers called four-day work
week trials in Iceland
an "overwhelming success."
According to the report released
on Sunday, “worker wellbeing dramatically increased across a range of indicators, from perceived stress and burnout to health
and work-life balance,” while “productivity and service provision remained the same or improved across the majority of trial workplaces.”
“Trials have shown that reducing working hours can have a significant positive impact
,” the report concluded.
The study, conducted by the Association for Sustainable Democracy
in Iceland and the U.K.-based think tank Autonomy, studied 2,500 workers — approximately 1% of Iceland's working population — in two major trials between 2015 and 2019. The trials "not only aimed to improve work-life balance but also to maintain or increase productivity," according to the report.
There was no pay cut for working 35 to 36 hour weeks.
The trials, which were launched by the Reykjavik City Council and the Icelandic national government in response to shorter work week campaigns by unions
and social organizations, included a variety
of workplaces, from traditional offices to preschools and hospitals, in 9-to-5 jobs
as well as nontraditional shifts.
According to the report, 86% of Icelandic workers are now working fewer hours or “gaining the right to shorten their hours.”
The researchers speculated that the study could serve as a model for future trials in other countries.
The full report is available here.