A reduced working week of 35 to 36 hours with no reduction in pay was an “overwhelming success” when trialled in Iceland, according to a report.
From 2015 to 2019, Iceland ran two large-scale trials of a reduced working week and the results have been analysed for the first time in a joint project by UK-based think tank Autonomy and the research organisation Association for Sustainability and Democracy (Alda) in Iceland.
The trials were run by both Reykjavik City and the Icelandic Government.
Analysis of the results, which included 2,500 workers – over 1 per cent of Iceland’s entire working population – showed the trials were “an overwhelming success, and since completion, 86 per cent of the country’s workforce are now working shorter hours or gaining the right to shorten their hours”, states the report.
Productivity and service provision remained the same or improved across the majority of trial workplaces.
Worker wellbeing dramatically increased across a range of indicators, from perceived stress and burnout to health and work-life balance.
The trials also remained revenue neutral for both the city council and the government, providing a "crucial, and so far largely overlooked blueprint of how future trials might be organised in other countries around the world", according to researchers.