Live to work or work to live? This is the dilemma. But regardless of the answer, another huge question mark remains: what’s left of our time? Less and nothing. Even less so when we have to (and do we want?) To take care of the house, the family, our passions and sports. The truth is that all 24 hours of the day are not enough, considering that most of our time is spent working.
And Iceland knows this. And he understood it when no one has yet dared to introduce it the short work week at full pay. He did it with an experiment and the results are sensational: the workers are happier, but above all more productive.
The experiment involved some employees of the public sector from 2015 to 2019 and, according to the data that emerged, productivity has grown and, in the worst case, has remained unchanged. That week of four working days at full pay, however, left the workers, finally, masters of their time.
These figures have inevitably made the government enthusiastic, because productivity has remained unchanged or increased in most workplaces, but above all the well-being of employees has benefited.
According to reports from researchers from Autonomy and the Association for Sustainable Democracy, Icelandic workers have gone from 40 hours a week to 35. In Iceland, the short week tests were carried out by the Reykjavík City Council and the government. nationally involving more than 2500 workers. Public offices, social services, kindergartens and hospitals participated in the experiment.
All those who have joined the initiative have declared of feel less stressed and less at risk of burnout, being able to balance the days between work, family, friends and free time.
This experiment, and its success, can become pioneers of a new way of working with fewer working days. In Iceland, therefore, the unions are already ready to negotiate with employees in favor of the short week.
The Icelandic ones aren’t the only experiments in this mode. There are, in fact, also in Spain and New Zealand, on a private level, but also with initiatives of local and regional administrations. That the short full pay week will soon become a reality for everyone?