The reports out of Iceland sound too good to be true: Reduced working hours make workers happier and don’t harm productivity? To find out whether these revolutionary results hold water, journalist Nicole Kobie delves into the research findings from Iceland’s pioneering experiment with shorter workweeks. The results may inspire your company to radically re-evaluate its work-time arrangement.
In trials of reduced working hours in Iceland, workers’ productivity didn’t suffer – and their well-being improved.
When Icelanders reduced their working hours, it didn’t produce any negative effects on their productivity, according to research released on the country’s recent trial. Schools, police stations, care houses, city maintenance offices and other departments all demonstrated similar results: lower stress and burnout, and steady – sometimes even increased – productivity. The results held steady across office workers and shift workers, with shift workers seeing the most significant benefits to their work-life balance.
A co-author of the report attributes the results to the fact that so much time is wasted at work. To boost efficiency, employers participating in the study nixed unnecessary tasks, banned meetings...