The pandemic has transformed the way we think about work, from the sad cubicles to the comfort of our home. There is another major shift happening to work – how much of it we do. Iceland has trialed 4-day weeks, which have been an "overwhelming success," and 85% of workers in Iceland are currently, or on the way to, working 4 days a week. The increase in work productivity, getting the same amount of work done in fewer hours, has resulted in the seamless transition.
Other countries are getting in on the action as well. Pilots are underway in Spain and Japan and even some US companies are planning to test it out. Crowdfunding platform, Kickstarter will test out the 4-day week next year with no decrease in pay. (Y'all hiring?) Other US companies like Buffer, a NY-based social media software company, and Wildbit, a Philadelphia-based software company, have switched to 4 day work-weeks after successful pilots.
Other than worker productivity and well-being increases, there are a number of benefits to a 4-day week. It can have impacts on gender equality e.g. in the Icelandic study, men were more likely to take on domestic tasks, and not leave them to their partners. People also picked up new interests and hobbies, leading to elevated happiness levels.
Short Squeez Takeaway: If anyone had told us two years ago that you could run a Fortune 500 company from your kitchen table, while all of your staff also work from home, we would have laughed at them. A 4-day week might sound like a crazy idea right now, especially for American (finánce) workers but could be a real possibility down the road as more firms become comfortable with the idea. It will also give employers a huge edge in hiring. There are many people out there that would even take a slight pay cut to get an additional day off per week.