Finnish PM floats idea of four-day workweek

7th January 2020

A number of British businesses have also made the switch, such as Elektra Lighting, Think Productive and Portcullis Legals.

The second-youngest serving country leader in the world, Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin at 34-years-old, has suggested the idea of employing a four-day work week.

Ms Marin is not the first to question whether this could work, with one trial suggesting that reducing the length of the working week boosts productivity. In August, Microsoft Japan trialled a four-day work week, resulting in an increase of productivity by around 40 per cent.

In a separate experiment, the Guardian reports on a Melbourne organisation that found a six-hour workday forced staff to cut down on unproductive activities, such as sending pointless emails, sitting in long meetings and wasting time on the internet.

A number of British businesses have also made the switch, such as Elektra Lighting, Think Productive and Portcullis Legals.

While the benefits to work-life balance stemming from a shorter work-week is clear for the workers, a number of challenges do arise. Critics have expressed concern that a four-day workweek will make it difficult to serve customers in a timely way and may also cause staffing challenges.

In a Harvard Journey Review paper reviewing the prospect of a four day workweek, it was reported that employees may actually feel working less will make them look lazy.

In addition, there have been companies that backtracked on the promise of a shorter week. The Welcome Trust backtracked on plans for a four-day workweek, saying it would be “too operationally complex”. The city of Gothenburg dropped its six-hour workday experiment because of increases costs.


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Finnish PM floats idea of four-day workweek