Iceland Tests A 4-Days-A-Week Workday With Surprising Results

With the implementation of the 4-day workday in Iceland, 8 out of 10 people have reduced their level of stress and burnout nationwide.

iceland 4 days workday

Amid controversies regarding the new normal, Iceland made a practical decision. The workforce in your country can do work from home on many occasions. Furthermore, the pandemic offered them a taste of what a more balanced balance means. Suitable between the professional activities they carry out and their lives. For this reason, the country implemented a 4-day a week only, which seems to have ushered in a new golden era for workers.

A more flexible work scheme

Before the pandemic, particularly in the most densely populated cities, juggling personal life and work obligations was challenging. The days started earlier and ended long after. Between traffic, the bad behavior of colleagues at work, and the need to attend to family matters, the space for leisure and self-care was reduced to a luxury to which very few had access.

The approach to a 4-day working day in Iceland, therefore, does not seem crazy. Initially unacceptable in the neoliberal model, this scheme admits that it is not necessary to be locked in an office building for (at least) 8 hours a day, five days a week. In accordance with Forbes, this possibility is increasingly broadened due to hybrid working systems.

With the ability to connect to work every day, the Icelandic workforce – as well as many other workers around the world – can fully meet its obligations from anywhere. Preferably from home, life becomes cheaper and noticeably less bearable for those who can solve the work with a computer and stable internet access.

happy working environment

Unlike other countries, Iceland does offer strong social security to its workers. The transition to a 4-day workday, therefore, was not so hasty. Considering, in addition, that its population exceeds only 350 thousand inhabitants, it was an easily overcome challenge. However, unlike Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Finland, it records more hours of work annually.

Taking this into consideration, it is still surprising that 85% of workers in the country now work fewer hours, and you have the right to cut them if it seems convenient. Productivity and service delivery remained at the same level as before, and in some cases even improved. Proportionally, the general well-being of workers increased by various factors.

Stress, exhaustion, and health were some of the indicators considered by the national study. The general perception, until now, is that these three points were favored with this new work scheme that is more flexible and friendly to the personal needs of the population. With these results, the 9 to 5 hours lose much of the sense they had before the pandemic.

The success was such that other countries in the world – such as Spain and Japan – plan to take the following steps to balance the space between work development and personal life.


Leave a Reply