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Shorter Workweek Trial A Success

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Shorter Workweek Trial A Success

Photo: Negative Space

An experimental project to see how shortening the workweek for state and municipal employees has been a success thus far, RÚV reports. In fact, the City of Reykjavík and the BSRB union report that not only are sick days are down and employee satisfaction up among individuals who participated in the trial, but there has also been no loss of productivity as a result of curtailed hours on the job.

The results of the trial, which began in March of 2015, were presented at Reykjavík City Hall yesterday. Initially, 300 employees at eight workplaces took part in the reduced workweek, and Magnús Már Guðmundsson, head of the steering committee, says that the results have been positive enough that the city is now ready to invite even more participants. “All of [the original participants] will continue, but now, we’re dramatically expanding the project so that we’ll have a much broader group and a larger dataset to review. We’re hugely pleased with it so far and excited to see what comes out of it.”

“There are now around 2,200 out of the city’s 8,500 employees who’ve entered into [the project].” Magnús explained. “Their workweeks will be shortened one to three hours—around three hours for most people.” He does admit that there will be additional challenges in implementing this new schedule for people who don’t work in an office environment. “We’ll just keep our heads down and keep working on it,” he said. “This is an incredibly positive project and there are a lot of people involved in it.”

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