Workers and bosses have emerged as winners of a pilot project in Iceland aimed at testing the effects of a four-day work week, Global News reports.
From 2015 to 2019, 2,500 employees from various business sectors participated in this extensive study. Incidentally, this sample represents just under 1% of the population.
Thus, the participating companies reduced the working hours of their employees from 40 to 35 or 36.
At the same time, bosses also increased the productivity of their workers by reducing the number of meetings and reorganizing work shifts.
And the study’s conclusions 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 drop and find a better work-life balance.
The researchers responsible for the study also noted that in the majority of participating companies, productivity increased or remained the same.
“This study shows that the world’s largest pilot project for a reduced work week has been an amazing success,” the study leader said in a statement.
As a result of this pilot project, Icelandic unions also lobbied for a four-day working week in all workplaces.
Today, 86% of workers in the Nordic countries have either adopted this type of schedule or will be able to do so in the near future, say the researchers who worked on this study.
The latter also hopes to see other countries adopt this model and reduce working weeks for their residents.
“The Icelandic pilot project not only proves to us that it is possible to do less work in our time, but also that incremental changes are possible,” said researcher Gudmundur Haraldsson.