Social Climate Tech News

Mon 25 03 2024

Shorter Workweek The Next Freedom Reform

by bernt & torsten

A research project at Karlstad University is testing the implementation of a four-day workweek at 15-20 Swedish workplaces. Despite increased productivity in recent years, wages and quality of life have not risen proportionately. This disparity has widened the wealth gap, making the rich richer. The project aims to enhance the quality of life by giving people more time for themselves, their families, and their local communities.

Productivity in the Swedish job market has more than doubled since the 1970s, yet working hours remain the same and calls for a shorter workweek are gaining momentum. Numerous similar experiments have been conducted worldwide with positive outcomes. Yet, this is the first time a study in Sweden will compare multiple workplaces concurrently, setting the stage for the country's next significant freedom reform.

A more productive society should ideally translate into better living conditions and quality of life. However, wages, purchasing power, and overall quality of life have not risen in line with productivity. In contrast, the rich have become wealthier. Trade unions agree that a shorter workweek will mitigate stress and contribute to social progress. Many countries have already taken the lead in this direction, and it is just a matter of time before Sweden follows suit.

Despite inflation and future intentions to raise the retirement age, politicians must give back to the people. A shorter workweek will enable citizens to lead healthier, happier lives with more time for hobbies, family, and community involvement. This is the measure of a well-being society.

What would a shorter workweek with retained wages mean for you?