The prime minister of Finland has called for four-day working weeks, describing it as the “next step for us in working life”.
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The second-youngest head of state in the world, Sanna Marin, also called for six-hour working days.
“I believe people deserve to spend more time with their families, loved ones, hobbies and other aspects of life, such as culture,” said Marin, who was elected in early December.
“It is important to allow Finnish citizens to work less. It is not a question of governing with a feminine style but offering help and keeping promises to voters.”
The leader of the Social Democratic Party also advocated for shorter weeks while she was Minister of Transport.
Microsoft Japan in August 2019 gave 2,300 employees every Friday off for one month and found productivity increased nearly 40 per cent as meetings became more efficient.
Australian company Versa has also introduced a four-day week, with employees not working on Wednesdays.
The policy saw the digital marketing agency boost profits nearly 300 per cent.
According to agenda contributor at the World Economic Forum, Philipp Frey, four-day weeks could also be critical in saving the environment.
“Our current working time and lifestyle models are deeply intertwined with a fundamentally unsustainable economy,” Philipp Frey said in June 2019.
“[This] demands us to endure long commutes due to overpriced housing and eat carbon-intensive, frozen foods since we lack the time to prepare decent quality meals ourselves.”
He said economies need to reevaluate work models in order to reduce emissions and live more sustainably.
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