Iceland's four-day week trial success

Professor David Spencer featured in Wired magazine on 12 July 2021, in an article discussing the conditions and results of the recent four-day working week trial in Iceland.

Professor of Economics David Spencer provided commentary for the article, titled ‘What really happened in Iceland’s four-day week trial’, evaluating the findings of the country’s recent experiment. The trial, which saw many sectors in Iceland trial shorter working weeks for employees, has been deemed widely by the media as an ‘overwhelming success’. 

According to Wired, the trial demonstrated the success of reducing working hours generally, rather than working specifically across four days- resulting in increased worker well-being, and equal or increased levels of productivity in workplaces such as government offices, schools and police stations. 

Professor Spencer commented: 

In the UK, too many firms seem fixated with the current five-day work week – this despite the upheaval of the Covid-19 crisis...This trial will hopefully jolt some UK firms into trialling, and adopting permanently, shorter work hours.

“In a few years time, we might look back and wonder why we took so long to adopt a four-day work week.”

Read the full article in Wired.

Read Professor Spencer’s blog on the four-day week in our Research and Innovation blog.