The researchers said the four-day workweek trials in Iceland were a “massive success”.
Trials of reduced working hours, in which workers received the same amount for reduced hours, took place between 2015 and 2019.
According to the researchers, productivity remained the same or improved in most workplaces.
Several other similar trials are being run around the world, including Unilever in Spain and New Zealand.
In Iceland, they were led by the Reykjavik City Council and the national government. These included more than 2,500 workers, equivalent to about 1% of Iceland’s working population.
Researchers at the British Research Center Autonomy and the Association for Sustainable Democracy (ALDA) in Iceland say many of them have gone from 40-hour workweeks to 35- or 36-hour ones.
The results have prompted unions to renegotiate work standards, and now 86% of Iceland’s workers have moved to reduced working hours, but wages have been maintained.
Workers reported feeling less stressed — or less at risk of burnout. He also said that his health and balance between work and family life has improved.
Autonomy’s director of research, Will Strong, praised the study.
“It shows that the world’s biggest test of the short work week in the public sector was, in all respects, a tremendous success. It shows that the public sector is ripe to be the leader – and lessons can be learned by other governments.” “
Gudmundur D. Haraldsson, a researcher at Alda, said: “Iceland’s shorter weekly working hours tell us that not only is it possible to work less, but that progressive change is also possible.”
Spain is testing a four-day work week for companies, partly because of the challenges of coronavirus.
And Unilever in New Zealand is also offering employees the chance to reduce their working hours by 20% without hurting their wages.
In May, a report commissioned by Platform London’s 4-Day Week campaign suggested that shorter working hours could reduce carbon emissions in the UK.