Finland’s 34-year-old Prime Minister Sanna Marin has proposed cutting down the workweek and reducing it to four days consisting of six-hour workdays in a bid to transition the country to what she called “the next step for us in working life.”
According to CNBC, the PM said, “I believe people deserve to spend more time with their families, loved ones, hobbies and other aspects of life, such as culture. This could be the next step for us in working life.”
Specific details of Marin’s proposal are yet to be announced.
Finland has long been advocating flexible work schedules. In 1996, the government introduced a law that gave employees the right to shift their hours up to three hours earlier or later than their employers’ typical requirements.
Since taking office and becoming the world’s youngest prime minister in December, Marin has advanced that agenda. Marin sits at the helm of Finland’s Social Democratic Party and leads the country’s five-party, all-woman center-left coalition government.
However, Finland is not the first country to propose this. In 2015, Sweden tested out the six-hour workweek in Gothenburg. Results revealed that though happiness levels included it put a burden on public coffers.
Meanwhile, in November 2019, Microsoft Japan revealed that a trial four-day workweek boosted productivity by 40%.