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Four day work week a “success” in Iceland

Mark Gibson
Article image for Four day work week a “success” in Iceland

A study that focused on the benefits of a four day work week has been labelled a success in Iceland.

The four year study included 2,500 workers from industries such as health care, child care and social services, who all had their hours reduced from 40 to 36 hours a week with the same income.

Workplace expert, Dr Libby Sander, from Bond University told Mark Gibson on Perth LIVE the trial has been a success.

“They found that productivity and the service provision of the employees actually stayed the same or when up,” she said. “That was surprising in terms of what the expectations were.”

The trials run by Reykjavík City Council and the Icelandic government found that “workers experienced significant increases in wellbeing and work-life balance — all while existing levels of service provision and productivity were at the very least maintained, and in some instances improved.”

“The study looked at how can work differently, what are new work strategies, can we do things like have less meetings and can we run our organisation more efficiently. I think a lot of people would agree that aside from their own personal productivity, there are lots of things in organisations that we can stop doing,” Dr Sander said.

The study included around 1 per cent of the the countries work force, with 86 per cent of the nations working population either working less hours or have the choice to shorten their working week.

“It has massive implications the benefit wellbeing, mental health, physical health and we know that these are huge issues for all organisations. It really gives this insight to the fact that this can work and there are benefits for everybody,” Dr Sander said.

Press PLAY to hear Mark Gibson’s chat with Dr Libby Sander.

(Photo: iStock by Getty Images.)

Mark Gibson