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Several companies in Iceland participated in a four-day work week trial to establish whether it will be successful if implemented permanently.

The trials took place between 2015 and 2019, where workers were paid the same amount of money for shorter hours. Productivity remained the same or improved in the majority of workplaces, reports the BBC.

About 1% of Iceland's working population participated in the trials, run by the Reykjavik City Council and the national government. The 2,500 workers who participated included people who worked at corporate offices, social service departments, hospitals and preschools.

Based on the outcome of the trials, 86% of Iceland's workforce have either moved to shorter hours for the same pay, or will be allowed to do so, according to the BBC.

The outcome? Less stress and burnout, and a better balance between work and life. Other benefits of working shorter hours included more time to spend with families, complete household chores or do hobbies.

Several other countries, including Spain and New Zealand, are currently running trials similar to the one in Iceland. Unilever New Zealand is giving their local workers the opportunity to reduce their working hours by 20% without it having a negative effect on their salaries.

Image credit: Forbes

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