REYKJAVÍK, Iceland (WLNS) – Even though July 4th was a Sunday this year, millions of Americans still enjoyed a three-day weekend to celebrate. A study in Iceland shows that making every weekend last for three days has serious benefits for workers and their employers.
Two large-scale trials, running from 2015 to 2019, included about 1% of the country’s workforce. Participants worked 35-36 hours over four days each week before enjoying three-day weekends.
The experiment was deemed an “overwhelming success.” Worker wellbeing improved dramatically in a number of areas, including health, stress, and work-life balance.
Employers benefitted as well, with productivity and service remaining the same or improving across the majority of workplaces in the trials despite the reduced number of work days.
“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,” said researcher Gudmundur D. Haraldsson.
The study is meant to serve as a blueprint for larger trials in other countries.