Researchers in Iceland conducted a study to see the effects of a shorter working week on a group of people. The results were an “overwhelming success” according to the researchers. The trials were run by Reykjavík City Council and the national government.
Public sector employers were used in two large trials between 2015 and 2019 where they worked 35-36 hours per week. There was no reduction in pay, even though a lot of the participants had previously worked 40 hours a week. Researchers noticed the wellbeing of workers “dramatically” increase in different areas. The perceived stress and burnout were reduced, and their health and work-life began to have a more appropriate balance. This is all according to researchers from think tank Autonomy and research organization the Association for Sustainable Democracy (Alda).
The trials included only 1 per cent of Iceland’s working population as only 2,500 participants were involved. Trials were directed to maintain or increase productivity while also improving their work-life balance. The researchers found productivity either stayed the same or slightly increased.
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