Who doesn’t want to work fewer hours while being paid the same amount? According to a new study out of Iceland, many believe it’s an idea worth considering.
From 2014-2021, Iceland ran two large-scale trials on reduced working hours. The results recently came out, and researchers are calling the trial “an overwhelming success.” Many workers involved shifted to a 35-36 hour workweek with no reduction in pay.
The findings were published in a report Going Public, Iceland’s Journey to a Shorter Working Week. Researchers pointed out that workers reported less stress and burnout, as well as a better work-life balance.
The trials were held by the Reykjavík City council from 2014 to 2019, and by the Icelandic government from 2017to 2021.
Affording to the report, the trials remained “remained revenue neutral for both the city council and the government.”
Does that mean that a shorter work week will be revenue-neutral for private businesses? Hardly.
Private businesses are in a constant state of competition. Rather than showing that we can get more with less, this report demonstrated just how inefficient the government really is.
Nonetheless, the study could have significant consequences for Iceland. According to the report, 86% of Iceland’s working population is in a position to negotiate reduced hours.
Other governments may also try to introduce the same measures–especially for public sector employees.
The private sector is less likely to jump on the trend.