Infographic of the month – February

4-day week – a model for the future?

Author: Gabriela Hein
Video: Maxi Ringlieb
Date: 15.02.22

The 5-day workweek is considered the standard almost everywhere in the world. But there is a growing body of evidence that the 4-day week could be better. As the debate rages on, there is much to be said for a reduction in working hours.

Iceland shows the way

Between 2015 and 2019, the world’s largest experiment of a 4-day week took place in Iceland. 2500 workers took part in total – equivalent to one percent of the country’s population. Instead of 40, they worked only 35 or 36 hours. With the same pay.

The result had been an overwhelming success. In almost all areas, the shorter working hours have had positive effects:

  • Improved work-life balance
  • Optimized work processes and more efficient use of working hours
  • Increased productivity
  • Reduction of stress

Today, a total of about 86% of the Icelandic working population now has the right to reduced working hours.

Vimeo

Mit dem Laden des Videos akzeptieren Sie die Datenschutzerklärung von Vimeo.
Mehr erfahren

Video laden

Positive effects increase productivity above all

A British study found that in an 8-hour-working day, people work only for 2 hours and 53 minutes per day in a truly productive manner. 54% even said they have to distract themselves with private things like social media, job hunting, phone calls, news websites, to make the day bearable.

With a shortened work schedule, there is no time for such things. Work is reorganized so that the same workload can be accomplished in less time. In addition, employees are willing to take fewer breaks in order to have more free time.

Challenges of the 4-day week

As positive as the effects are, however, implementation is also challenging.

  • Savings in the wrong place? Personal exchange with colleagues is important to employees. With shorter working hours, this can quickly fall by the wayside.
  • Not equally feasible for all sectors: Areas such as healthcare, medicine or social services incur enormous costs and additional staff must be hired.
  • Danger of salary cuts: If you reduce your working hours from 5 to 4 days, this does not mean that your salary will remain the same. Many employees would most likely have to adjust to a lower salary.

 

The 4-day week is not a no-brainer, because processes have to be adapted to keep the economy running equally well. But it is an enormous gain for everyone’s health, and in many areas, companies can benefit from exactly that. Happy employees, happy economy!

Our newsletter

Information about current topics and trends as well as free infographics every month in our newsletter!
Sign up now:

Statista Blog

Current topics and trends – plus free infographics

Insect-friendly garden

Social Media in Content Marketing

blank

2 Years of COVID-19

Our Value Added

Individual information design – directly from the expert for data research

We at Statista Content & Information Design have been dealing with data, facts and analyses for years. Therefore we understand particularly well how these can be presented visually. Also, Statista’s portal comprises more than one million statistics, studies and reports from over 22,500 sources – the ideal basis for exciting, customized data storytelling.

Handcrafted styling using your corporate design – no templates
Experienced team of consultants, editors, designers and digital marketing experts
In-depth expertise and reputable data sources from all over the world
Research, storytelling, and design from one source
Predefined processes and decision paths save you time
Perfect staging of your product

Our Products

Discover our products for your individual data visualization