Get All Access for $5/mo

Study: Shorter Work Weeks Are Better A five-year study of workers reveals the relationship between the amount of time spent working, productivity and happiness.

By Dan Bova Edited by Dan Bova

In a study of Icelandic workers conducted by research firms Alda and Autonomy, approximately 2,500 workers were monitored in two separate trials to see how a shorter work week affected their productivity. This group moved from a 40-hour to a 35- or 36-hour workweek (without a reduction in pay) and were employed across a variety of industries. In many cases, those participating in the study worked side-by-side with workers who remained on standard 40-work-week schedules.

The results of the epic two-part study that spanned five years were unequivocal: reduced hours did not negatively impact productivity, and resulted in a myriad of positive outcomes, including reductions in stress and burnout.

Related: How to Go From Procrastination to Inspiration

"Across both trials, many workers expressed that after starting to work fewer hours they felt better, more energized, and less stressed, resulting in them having more energy for other activities, such as exercise, friends and hobbies," the study's author report. "This then had a positive effect on their work."

Following the trial's success, roughly 86% of Iceland's entire workforce is working shorter hours or has the choice to reduce their hours. Have you considered reducing your or your staff's workweek?

Related: Experiencing Burnout? Here's How to Fix It.

Dan Bova

Entrepreneur Staff

VP of Special Projects

Dan Bova is the VP of Special Projects at Entrepreneur.com. He previously worked at Jimmy Kimmel Live, Maxim, and Spy magazine. His latest books for kids include This Day in History, Car and Driver's Trivia ZoneRoad & Track Crew's Big & Fast Cars, The Big Little Book of Awesome Stuff, and Wendell the Werewolf

Read his humor column This Should Be Fun if you want to feel better about yourself.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Business News

Mark Cuban Warns About Fake Fundraisers on Social Media After Assassination Attempt: 'Makes Things Worse'

Mark Cuban warned his followers about online grifters who try to capitalize on tragedy.

Business Culture

Want Engaged Employees? Act Like a Nanobubble

Nanobubbles revitalized Lake Elsinore by addressing its root problems, offering a metaphor for sustainable employee engagement.

Starting a Business

He Started an 'Accidental' Business at 25 With Just $2,000 — Then Gave His Product to the Pope: 'Anyone Can Be an Entrepreneur'

Michael Aram, founder of the namesake luxury home and jewelry brand, learned the art of metalworking in India — and used it to launch a global brand.