Iceland’s trial of a 4-day workweek–the largest trial to date–was declared an “overwhelming success.” Why? Because workers were able to cut their work hours without their paychecks taking a cut. However, the benefits weren’t only experienced by workers; companies that implemented shorter working weeks also saw increased productivity output from employees, increased satisfaction, and better levels of service.
Spain is following in Iceland’s footsteps and many are asking the UK to follow suit as a result. MPs from the Labour, SNP, Plaid Cymru, the SDLP, and Green Parties have signed a motion asking the government to set up a commission to examine a 4-day work week trial. Some UK-based businesses already have a 4-day workweek implemented, and these companies report higher productivity levels.
A 4-day workweek wouldn’t be the UK’s first foray into less working hours. Back in the day, the UK used to have half day closing, which typically occurred on Wednesday afternoons. The half day closing gave employees a much-needed break mid-week, and it didn’t affect business performance or employee productivity.