A Shorter Working Day? — The Reykjavik Grapevine

A Shorter Working Day?

Published May 8, 2014

Photo by
Jói Kjartans

Representatives of management are proposing shortening the working day – although they have their own particular take on what a shortened working day would look like.

RÚV reports that Guðrún Hafsteinsdóttir, the director of the Federation of Icelandic Industries, says she is ready to explore the concept of a shorter work day. In an interview with radio station Rás 2, Guðrún specifically cited Gothenburg, Sweden’s recentinitiative for a six-hour workday. 

While the Swedish experiment is still in the trial stages – this most current attempt to last one year, and only to apply to some workers – it is hoped that workers will in general be happier, more productive, and take fewer sick days as a result.

Guðrún has an emphasis of her own, telling reporters, “We have, for example, a lot of break hours, a lot of pauses in the working day. If people are ready to shorten those things, and shorten their working day, but produce the same amount of returns, then I don’t think employers will be against it.” She also says her organisation believes it is probably more realistic to shorten the workday to seven hours rather than six. 

A formal proposal from the Federation of Icelandic Industries on the matter is expected soon.

Support The Reykjavík Grapevine!
Book your day tours in Iceland right here!

Go travel with Grapevine tried and recommended tours by Grapevine. Fund Grapevine journalism by booking with us.

Show Me More!