Icelandic Study Shows 4-Day Workweek Trial Is an 'Overwhelming Success' and Possible 'Blueprint' for Future | Inside Edition

Icelandic Study Shows 4-Day Workweek Trial Is an 'Overwhelming Success' and Possible 'Blueprint' for Future

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"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," said Alda researcher Gudmundur D. Haraldsson.

News Flash: Trials of a four-day workweek have proven to be an “overwhelming success” in Iceland and maybe a "blueprint" for future trials in other countries, researchers say.

Currently, 86% of Iceland's working population are now either working fewer hours or "gaining the right to shorten their hours,” researchers said, CBS News reported

"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," said Alda researcher Gudmundur D. Haraldsson.

Between 2015 to 2019,  2,500 participants — roughly 1% of Iceland's working-age population — worked fewer hours with no cut in pay, CBS reported.

The two trials included participants who went from a 40-hour workweek to a 35- or 36-hour workweek.  

Those in the study included individuals who worked between nine-to-five and those in non-traditional shifts, according to the study.

The workplace environments ranged from traditional offices, hospitals, social service providers, and playschools. 

The trials not only aimed to improve work-life balance but also maintain or increase productivity, the study said.

"It shows that the public sector is ripe for being a pioneer of shorter working weeks, and lessons can be learned for other governments," said Will Stronge, director of research at the U.K.-based independent think tank Autonomy, whose aim is “to promote real freedom, equality and human flourishing above all,” according to its site.

Autonomy, along with The Association for Sustainability and Democracy (Alda), a non-profit organization made up of volunteers that has advocated for the shortening of working hours since 2011, published their findings last month in a report entitled “Going Public: Iceland’s Journey to a Shorter Working Week.”

The two trials were run by both Reykjavik City Council and the Icelandic national government as a response to campaigns by trade unions and civil society organizations, CBS reported.

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