Four-day work week in Iceland was an "overwhelming success" 6 months ago

Four-day work week in Iceland was an "overwhelming success"

It looks to be a huge success.

Four day working weeks were introduced in Iceland and they seem to have been a lot more successful than expected.


Trials for the four day working week are said to be an "overwhelming success" as workers opted to switch to shorter working hours.

These trials allowed workers to be paid the same amount bur work shorter hours, and took place from 2015 to 2019.

According to researchers, the productivity remained the same and in the majority of work places that were trialled, the productivity actually improved.

Reykjavik, Iceland

Trials for this have now been introduced in other countries across the world with Spain and New Zealand both taking on the initiative.

In Iceland, however, the trials were run by Reykjavík City Council, with the government including an additional 2,500 workers to the system. This amounts to about 1% of Iceland's working population.


There was a range of workplaces involved in the trial including preschools, offices, hospitals and social service providers.

Moving from a 40 hour week to a 35 hour week, researchers from UK think tank Autonomy and the Association for Sustainable Democracy (Alda) said that 86% of workers chose to move to less hours.

Workers reported feeling less stressed and less of a risk of burnout, as well as their work-life balance improved with more time to spend with family and friends.

Will Stronge, director of research at Autonomy, said: "This study shows that the world's largest ever trial of a shorter working week in the public sector was by all measures an overwhelming success.


"It shows that the public sector is ripe for being a pioneer of shorter working weeks - and lessons can be learned for other governments."

Gudmundur Haraldsson, a researcher at Alda, said: "The Icelandic shorter working week journey tells us that not only is it possible to work less in modern times, but that progressive change is possible too."