Recently, several Finnish companies have announced a shift to a shorter workweek while maintaining full pay. World experiments in this area show extremely positive results.
The first in Finland to switch to a six-hour working day from April this year is Vapa, a company specializing in marketing and PR. The experiment will be attended by 45 employees of this company. The salary will remain the same, and the goal is to maintain productivity at the level of a regular eight-hour workday.
At the end of February this year, reporters from a well-known Finnish publisher wrote that the Wörk advertising agency, as part of the experiment, switched to a four-day working week for two months with salary saved.
Last summer, the then Minister of Transport and Communications, Sanna Marin, was considering whether it would be possible in the future to make a shorter working week the norm in Finnish working life. Then many rejected this proposal as utopia. At the moment, this seems possible.
Microsoft last fall conducted an experiment in Japan, in which 2,300 workers switched over to a four-day workweek while maintaining pay. According to Microsoft, branch productivity has increased by 40%.
In 2018, an investment company in New Zealand also transferred 240 workers to a four-day workweek. According to a study conducted as part of the experiment, the stress in the company decreased by 7%. At the same time, the balance between work and personal life has improved. Similar examples can also be found in studies from other countries.
Why is the 4-day Week Not a Solution For Everyone?
Two-thirds of Finnish entrepreneurs work for themselves. In 2018, there were 182,000 self-employed people.
The Executive Director of the Association of Entrepreneurs says that not everyone can afford such a luxury as a shortened working day. The reason is simple – many private entrepreneurs are forced to work hard to provide themselves with at least the most necessary. According to a survey of the Union of Entrepreneurs of Finland, 16% of self-employed people work more than 50 hours a week, while earning less than a thousand euros per month.
Most entrepreneurs want to grow their business. This also leads to the fact that you have to work almost around the clock. Private entrepreneurs rarely go on vacation. Of individual entrepreneurs, only one in five takes four weeks off per year. One in five spends an average week or less on vacation.