The five-day work week has been the norm for quite some time but Finland may be looking into changing this as their new prime minister, Sanna Marin believes that Finnish people should be working four days instead. She is a supporter of cutting the work week as she says that this can allow people to spend more time with their families. Ahem, boss!
According to The Independent, Marin, who took office in December, expressed support for this before at her party’s conference, the Social Democrats, in autumn 2019. She explained, “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.”
Marin, who is a mother-of-one, leads a centre-left coalition with four other parties which are all headed by women, three of which are under 35 years old. She supported this idea while she was still Transport Minister and said that this can also help to increase productivity and employee rapport.
She suggested that the standard working day should also be reduced to six hours instead of the standard eight. Currently, Finland is still practising the five-day work week and eight hours a day but this could be set to change. Although she has not implemented this as government policy, her advocacy for this idea could see Finland being the latest country to experiment with reduced working hours.
Finland’s neighbour, Sweden, had previously tested a six-hour work day in 2015 and employees were shown to be happier and more productive. This decreased work week also help to reduce carbon emissions and save costs. Recently, Microsoft Japan also tested this and results showed that productivity increased by 40% while employees reported improved creativity levels as well.
Now, if only we could implement this in Malaysia as well!
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