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冰岛试行每周四天工作制,结果令人意外

冰岛试行每周四天工作制,结果令人意外

Christiaan Hetzner 2021年07月09日
冰岛的试验在很大程度上挑战了减少工作时间会降低工作效率的观点。

你能够做到每周提前半天下班,报酬不变,却仍能对您的雇主同样有价值并富有成效吗?

冰岛似乎相信可以。

这个人口不到50万的北欧岛国,刚刚公布了一项近五年的研究结果。该研究旨在确定,给予员工更多的自由时间是否确实可以提高生产率。

研究人员表示,实验证明,上述问题是一个“令人难以置信的成功故事”。同时,它会给雇主们带来更多的问题,或者说,至少会加剧如何平衡工作与生活的激烈争论。当然,一切的争议和论点,都把“工作”放置在数字化和自动化正在重塑办公环境的时代语境下,思索它的未来。

这项研究的作者古蒙杜尔•哈拉尔德松和杰克•凯拉姆总结道:“在富裕国家中,更短的工作时间和更高的生产力之间有着很强的相关性。”他们引用了更多的可靠证据来支持这一假设。

研究人员在报告中添加了一张图表,显示在2005年至2015年间,冰岛的平均工作时间每年减少约100小时。而在同样的10年里,尽管工时减少了,生产率(以美元计算)却跃升了大约10个百分点。

由于新冠疫情期间在家办公的需要打破了传统的生产力观念,由智库Autonomy和非盈利组织Alda发表的以冰岛为样本的研究表明——在新冠疫情后的世界,没有恢复原状的必要。

雇主们也应该仔细倾听这份报告。因为在劳动力占据上风的市场上,企业正面临着日益激烈的人才争夺战。

休息时间:冰岛

冰岛研究的进行过程是怎样的?从2015年2月开始,来自100多家雇主的2500多名员工(后来数字增加)参与了在冰岛进行的两项独立试验,他们的工作时间从原来的每周40小时减少到了35或36小时。

在实验的高峰期,全国符合条件的人口中大约有1.3%参与了实验。

参与者报告称,他们感到更加精力充沛。许多人利用额外的空闲时间发展业余爱好、锻炼身体,这对他们的工作产生了积极影响。

一些经理表示,通过在招聘广告中声明他们的工作场所参与了这一试验,求职者的数量出现激增,这也间接提高了公司的形象。

此外,还有意想不到的社会效益。研究报告称,在许多情况下,家庭分工发生了变化,男性承担了更多的家庭责任。单身父母的生活改善则更大。

参与者发现,缩短工作周需要更深思熟虑,将重要任务按照优先级排列,低效的日常工作彻底得到改变。

“组织性是工时减少的关键。减少工作时间所带来的奖励会促使人们更有效率地组织工作,这改变了会议的运行方式、时间长短,在某些情况下还改变了公司场所的开放时间。”研究还发现。

困难只是阶段性的

重要的是,参与者所描述的对身心健康的感知益处,往往很持久。

研究指出,在这些举措取得成功后,冰岛的工会得以通过谈判,为全国各地的数万名工会成员永久削减了工作时间。

研究表示,冰岛总人口中约86%的人现在要么直接缩短了工时,要么已经获得了缩短工时的权利。

但是,作者并没有提到一个关键的问题。作为一个斯堪的纳维亚国家,冰岛的生产率很低(至少与其北欧邻国相比是事实)。

根据经济合作与发展组织(Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development)的数据,作为一个小岛国,冰岛与智利、墨西哥和日本等其他劳动密集型国家一样,是员工需要长时间工作的国家之一。

这或许表明,在简化日常工作方面,冰岛有足够多的下探空间——这也意味着这项试验或许不能直接适用于生产率进一步下降的其他经济体。

尽管如此,研究人员仍然对结果感到满意,并认为这一困难只是初期问题,比较容易处理。

“总体情况是,冰岛的试验在很大程度上挑战了减少工作时间会降低工作效率的观点。”他们写道,“相反,它们表明在许多情况下,生产率可以通过减少工作时间来提高。”(财富中文网)

编译:杨二一

你能够做到每周提前半天下班,报酬不变,却仍能对您的雇主同样有价值并富有成效吗?

冰岛似乎相信可以。

这个人口不到50万的北欧岛国,刚刚公布了一项近五年的研究结果。该研究旨在确定,给予员工更多的自由时间是否确实可以提高生产率。

研究人员表示,实验证明,上述问题是一个“令人难以置信的成功故事”。同时,它会给雇主们带来更多的问题,或者说,至少会加剧如何平衡工作与生活的激烈争论。当然,一切的争议和论点,都把“工作”放置在数字化和自动化正在重塑办公环境的时代语境下,思索它的未来。

这项研究的作者古蒙杜尔•哈拉尔德松和杰克•凯拉姆总结道:“在富裕国家中,更短的工作时间和更高的生产力之间有着很强的相关性。”他们引用了更多的可靠证据来支持这一假设。

研究人员在报告中添加了一张图表,显示在2005年至2015年间,冰岛的平均工作时间每年减少约100小时。而在同样的10年里,尽管工时减少了,生产率(以美元计算)却跃升了大约10个百分点。

由于新冠疫情期间在家办公的需要打破了传统的生产力观念,由智库Autonomy和非盈利组织Alda发表的以冰岛为样本的研究表明——在新冠疫情后的世界,没有恢复原状的必要。

雇主们也应该仔细倾听这份报告。因为在劳动力占据上风的市场上,企业正面临着日益激烈的人才争夺战。

休息时间:冰岛

冰岛研究的进行过程是怎样的?从2015年2月开始,来自100多家雇主的2500多名员工(后来数字增加)参与了在冰岛进行的两项独立试验,他们的工作时间从原来的每周40小时减少到了35或36小时。

在实验的高峰期,全国符合条件的人口中大约有1.3%参与了实验。

参与者报告称,他们感到更加精力充沛。许多人利用额外的空闲时间发展业余爱好、锻炼身体,这对他们的工作产生了积极影响。

一些经理表示,通过在招聘广告中声明他们的工作场所参与了这一试验,求职者的数量出现激增,这也间接提高了公司的形象。

此外,还有意想不到的社会效益。研究报告称,在许多情况下,家庭分工发生了变化,男性承担了更多的家庭责任。单身父母的生活改善则更大。

参与者发现,缩短工作周需要更深思熟虑,将重要任务按照优先级排列,低效的日常工作彻底得到改变。

“组织性是工时减少的关键。减少工作时间所带来的奖励会促使人们更有效率地组织工作,这改变了会议的运行方式、时间长短,在某些情况下还改变了公司场所的开放时间。”研究还发现。

困难只是阶段性的

重要的是,参与者所描述的对身心健康的感知益处,往往很持久。

研究指出,在这些举措取得成功后,冰岛的工会得以通过谈判,为全国各地的数万名工会成员永久削减了工作时间。

研究表示,冰岛总人口中约86%的人现在要么直接缩短了工时,要么已经获得了缩短工时的权利。

但是,作者并没有提到一个关键的问题。作为一个斯堪的纳维亚国家,冰岛的生产率很低(至少与其北欧邻国相比是事实)。

根据经济合作与发展组织(Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development)的数据,作为一个小岛国,冰岛与智利、墨西哥和日本等其他劳动密集型国家一样,是员工需要长时间工作的国家之一。

这或许表明,在简化日常工作方面,冰岛有足够多的下探空间——这也意味着这项试验或许不能直接适用于生产率进一步下降的其他经济体。

尽管如此,研究人员仍然对结果感到满意,并认为这一困难只是初期问题,比较容易处理。

“总体情况是,冰岛的试验在很大程度上挑战了减少工作时间会降低工作效率的观点。”他们写道,“相反,它们表明在许多情况下,生产率可以通过减少工作时间来提高。”(财富中文网)

编译:杨二一

Can you quit work a half-day early each week, get the same pay, and be just as valuable and productive to your employer?

Iceland seems to believe so.

The Nordic island nation with fewer than a half-million inhabitants just revealed the results of a near five-year-long study designed to determine whether giving employees more free time actually can improve productivity.

According to researchers, the exercise proved to be a “an incredible success story,” one that could raise further questions for employers—or, at the very least, add to the raging work-life balance debate—about the future of work in an age where digitalization and automation are reshaping the office environment.

“There is a strong correlation between shorter working hours and increased productivity amongst wealthy nations,” study authors Guðmundur D. Haraldsson and Jack Kellam concluded, citing an established and growing body of evidence that supports this hypothesis.

The researchers included a graphic in the report that showed that, between 2005 and 2015, average worker hours fell in Iceland by about 100 hours per year. That decline in time on the job corresponded with a roughly 10-point leap in productivity—as defined in dollar terms—over the same 10-year period.

With the need to work from home during the pandemic shattering traditional notions of productivity, the Iceland study, published by think tank Autonomy and non-profit organization Alda, suggests there is no need to return to the status quo ante in a post-COVID world.

Employers should listen closely, too, since companies face an intensifying war for talent in a market where workers are gaining the upper hand.

Time off: Iceland

Here's how the Iceland study went down: Starting in February 2015, and growing in size over time, more than 2,500 staff working for over 100 employers participated in two separate trials in Iceland that saw their hours reduced to 35 or 36 from an original 40 per week.

At its peak, roughly 1.3% of the country’s eligible population took part in the experiment.

Participants reported feeling more energized. Many used the extra free time for hobbies or exercise, which then spilled over as a positive effect on their work.

Some managers said that by stating in job advertisements that their workplace participated in the trial, they saw an upsurge in job applicants, which had the knock-on effect of raising the company profile.

Unexpected social benefits also emerged. The study reported that the division of labor in family households changed in many cases, with men taking on greater responsibilities at home. The improvement in the lives of single parents was even greater.

Participants discovered shortening the work week required a thought-through strategy that prioritized essential tasks and overhauled unproductive routines.

“Organization was key to working less—and the reward of reduced hours provoked people to organize their work more efficiently—with changes made to how meetings were run, as well as schedules, and in some cases to opening hours," the study found.

Minimal teething problems

Importantly, the perceived benefits on physical and psychological health described by participants tended to last.

Following the success of the initiatives, Icelandic trade unions were able to negotiate permanent cuts in working hours for tens of thousands of their members across the country, the study noted.

In total, roughly 86% of Iceland’s entire working population has now either moved to working shorter hours, or have gained the right to shorten their working hours, the study says.

The authors did not address one crucial aspect, however. Unusually for a Scandinavian country, Iceland suffers from low productivity, at least when compared to its Nordic neighbors.

The tiny island nation ranks alongside other labor-intensive states like Chile, Mexico, and Japan as one of the countries where employees work very long hours, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

This could suggest there was sufficient low-hanging fruit to streamline everyday tasks, making the trial less directly applicable to economies further along the productivity slope.

Researchers were nonetheless satisfied by the results, and argued the occasional difficulties were mere teething problems, somewhat easy to manage.

“The overarching picture that emerges is that the Icelandic trials strongly challenge the idea that a reduction in working hours will lower service," they wrote. "On the contrary, they show that productivity can, in many instances, be increased through working time reduction.“

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