The trials took place between 2015 and 2019 and saw workers paid the same for shorter hours. The results showed productivity either remained the same or even improved.
The trial run by Reykjavík city council alongside the Icelandic national government included one percent of the working population cutting their work week from 40 hours to 35-36 hours.
Workers reported feeling less stressed and their work-life balance improved.
People have taken to Twitter to share their opinions on the trial.
“We’re still using a working week model from the 19th Century despite 21st Century technology and productivity. It’s time to update how we work,” a user from the UK said.
“Five days on and two off is a massive imbalance. Four on and three off would be much better,” a user from the UK said.
One user from the US said: “Once again reminded that a three day weekend/four day work week would do amazing things for our collective well being.”
Another from the US wrote: “Yet another, ‘DUH! We’ve been saying this for decades now!'”
“It’s time to make the three-day weekend permanent. Nothing will be lost except a lot of misery,” a third user from the US wrote.
Will Stronge, director of research at Autonomy, told the BBC: “This study shows that the world’s largest ever trial of a shorter working week in the public sector was by all measures an overwhelming success.
“It shows that the public sector is ripe for being a pioneer of shorter working weeks – and lessons can be learned for other governments.
“Iceland has taken a big step towards the four-day working week, providing a great real-life example for local councils and those in the UK public sector considering implementing it here in the UK.”
Last year, a poll conducted by Survaton found that 63 percent of the British public support shifting to a four-day work week with no pay reduction.
The poll found that only 12 percent were against the idea.
Following the success of the trial, around 86 percent of the workers in Iceland started to negotiate contracts with permanently shorter hours.
Gudmundur D Haraldsson, a researcher at the Association for Sustainability and Democracy, said: “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.
“Our roadmap to a shorter working week in the public sector should be of interest to anyone who wishes to see working hours reduced.”
Author: Isabella Marsans
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