- Iceland tested out a four-day workweek with a chunk of its residents and the results were incredibly promising
- Participants reported an increased sense of well-being and their productivity was not significantly impacted
- Read more about workplace burnout here
In 1965, a United States Senate subcommittee released a report that echoed the predictions of the founder of Keynesian economics concerning the potential impact of technology on the national workforce, predicting the average American would only have to work 14 hours a week by the time the new millennium rolled around.
If you would excuse me for just a second…
BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. HAHAHAHAHAH. Woooooo. Oh, man. That was a good one.
More than 50 years later, the standard 40-hour workweek is still alive and well. However, after people across the country suddenly got a taste of the remote employment lifestyle last year, plenty of employees have begun to question what was long accepted as “normal”—including the concept of devoting five days a week to their job.
A couple of years ago, the World Health Organization classified “workplace burnout” as a legitimate health issue a year after a professor at Stanford suggested over 150,000 Americans die on a yearly basis as a result of the “work” aspect of the “work-life balance” outweighing the latter to a fatal degree.
A study that was published in 2019 claimed that in a perfect world, people wouldn’t have to work for more than eight hours on a weekly basis. While that’s probably never going to happen, there’s been a huge push to reconsider institutional norms, including research into the potential of a four-day workweek.
According to Business Insider, the Icelandic government started conducting experiments in that realm in 2014 with trials involving over 2,500 residents at 100 different businesses. The participants were regularly treated to three-day weekends while working 35 hours on a weekly basis, and based on the results, it appears the country might be on to something.
Those tasked with analyzing the data say there was no discernable dropoff in productivity or the quality of the work done. The workers who were surveyed also reported an overall increase in well-being, which was linked to the boost in time they had to socialize and focus on their personal lives.
After reaching out to the American Association of Businessmen Doing a Business about their thoughts on this development, they issued this statement in response:
A man can still dream.