"From 2015 to 2019, ran the world's largest trial of a shorter working week. An analysis of the results was finally published this week, and surprise! Everyone was happier, healthier, and more productive. Please pretend to be surprised."
mashable.com/article/iceland-f

🇮🇸 :blobaww:

"Workplaces tried out various time reduction strategies to accommodate the shorter work hours. These included delegating and prioritising tasks more effectively, having shorter and more focused meetings, and yes, letting meetings that could have been emails just be emails."

Uh-huh!

And now the kicker:

"The trials' success has helped Iceland's trade unions negotiate for permanently reduced working hours since 2019, affecting tens of thousands of their members. The report states that around 86 percent of the country's entire workforce now either has shorter working hours, or the right to shorten their hours."

This, ladies and getlefolk, is why we need unions. :blobcatcoffee:

So, let me re-phrase:

Government-run study, involving shortening the work week for government employees proves that productivity can be *gained* by shortening the work week.

Does business jump on that insight and clear opportunity to gain productivity *for free*, thus edging a competitive advantage on the market?

No. This happens only after unions get involved.

"Capitalism efficiently allocates resources" my arse.

@rysiek unions are a part of the fabric of government and business in the Nordic countries and have been so for quite some time. America seems to have some trouble with the concept.

@thor yup, not only Nordic countries. All of Europe has some form of collective bargaining systems in place.

(disclaimer, a Pole here, living in Iceland)

@rysiek ah, it's usually some lone American who actually needs to argue for their existence

@thor well, I am providing the argumentative ammunition for whoever needs to have that conversation with others. 😉

@rysiek there isn't much unionisation in the private sector but since the unions that exist are large, they set the expectations for the rest of the labour market.

@thor in Iceland unionization is quite prevalent, in fact. I don't have the numbers, but when I had moved here and got a local job, it was completely natural and obvious to my employer that I am joining the relevant union. Obviously so it was to me, but it was nice to see it so engrained.

@rysiek I feel like this doesn't make sense to capitalists because it doesn't fit in with this fake zero-sum view they have of people.

"You're saying that if we just... give people things they need, they will in turn be able to contribute more? And might even be more willing to do so? But... but that means they get something *and* I get something? And how does punishing them if they don't work hard enough fit into this? Aaargh! I'm confused!"

@monsterblue @rysiek this is a tradition from the times of the robber barons

they would rob ("tax") peasants of everything, except what was necessary for basic survival and production of the same harvest next year

if you leave them with more, they could get ideas

capitalists have understood that for a long time, if people have time, they have time for ideas.

we get paid per hour, and delude ourselves into thinking we could work less hours.
but capitalists don't just control the time we work, their contacts also control all the ideas we can think of in our free time

that's why all i can ever think of is that anarchy is good

@rysiek This was proven in the US during the pandemic too, workers were so much more efficient that many were having to find ways to kill time as they were at least hours if not days ahead of their work. It seems pretty clear that at least in the US companies don't want efficiency, they want control over the workers.

@taur10 @rysiek I think there is a stark difference in perception.

I myself (a people/manager manager) was super stressed out at the beginning of the pandemic because out of the sudden I spent 10–12h on Zoom per day.
I later learned that this was due to my poor calendar management and the poor meeting culture in my department.

I can see why the C-Level doesn’t get it. They might be stuck in the everything needs a Zoom meeting…

@rysiek@mastodon.social capitalist-stockholm-syndrome responses to these studies that i've seen are basically "that just proves that public sector workers are useless and don't do anything. this would never work out for companies that do REAL work"

@rysiek "capitalism efficiently allocates resources to enrich an ever shrinking yet endlessly hoarding class who then spend that money to create castes of society and institutions for the decriminalisation and preservation of the lucrative social contraption"

rambling on a bit on the castes of capitalism 

@rysiek "the castes all have a purpose. the extremely poor are the scarecrow. both an example of what you'll end up as if you don't work hard enough, and also just a scary bunch that'll scare you away from thinking about poverty by rendering it too disturbing to think about. the blue collars do the most important jobs and yet are underpaid as it's easier to replace them. the white collars are overpaid as they work easier but more disgusting jobs and are harder to raise/replace, so you pay them well enough that they don't care to negotiate and don't notice or alienate away from the disgustingness of their work. women are relatively underpaid in both cases because you can get away with it. with sexism, classism, racism, etc., you pit the three against each other, so they can't come together and organise against you. push fascism to the blue collar, liberal individualism to the white collar, these and then sexist pop culture to women. even the queermisia of capitalism can be explained in this framework. queer emancipation gives everyone across the board a taste of resistance and progress, so is thus extremely detrimental to a setup like this. then of course comes the class of shite collars. the managers, CxOs, investment wankers, corporate lawyer higher ups and similar, and politicians, who are the majordomos of capitalism. they are in the immediate circles of the rich. the run the system for the rich, and in turn are paid very generously. then, there are black shirts. the militia of the rich. they violently attack and suppress dissent, they spread the most disgusting ideas, they say and do anything that can be said and done. their function is intimidation, elimination, and infiltration. there are blue shirts, the police. blue collar workers organised in to a military like structure and singled out from other blue collars, so as to act as intimidation tools and ti apply legalised violence to workers when necessary. last, but probably not least, there is brown collars, as a force of intimidation and as a force to be deployed when exploitative actions abroad are in danger."

@rysiek Forced work weeks for all is not capitalism - it is central planning.

On the other hand, since I'm self-employed, I've been running 2-4 hours work days perfectly fine.

@rysiek Capitalism is not so much about production as controlled output. That which cannot be controlled cannot be optimised for profit. To be outside of the society of surveillance and control is to be a dangerous, subversive element, and potentially destabilising.

@rysiek like with any new discovery, there's some (IMO justified) caution, as it's notbcertain that it will work in every situation. AFAIU, the productivity gains aren't immediate, they only manifest after the organization adapts its workflows to the shorter week. And you don't know how long it'll take for a particular organization.

So as with any new discovery, there's a risk to being early adopter, and in this case all the risk is on the employer. The employee gains drom day 1

@rysiek So I think it's no surprise employees, who benefit from day 1, are ethusiastic about it, while emoloyers, who will only see benefits after a few months, are cautious.

@rysiek after a few months of presumably lower productivity, that is.

@outsider Capitalism has one job. Distribute resources and tasks. Does it do that well? No. It does it awfully.

@Sandra @kensanata @outsider What are you talking about? It does a great job if you are on the receiving end.

@loke Actually was writing a post about just that just now!

@Sandra Please share it when you're done. I'd love to read it.

@rysiek (individual) businesses do not have to. An entrepreneur (eg could be anyone, even you) who gets an advantage will make supranormal profits in the short run. They can sell their product cheaper, and pay workers more. The business who didn't believe will have no workers and no customers and run out of money, then disappear.

Warning. The market works both ways, so if it turns out wrong, the businesses that follow it will run out of money and disappear instead.

@rysiek we all know the modern work week is about keeping people busy so they'll spend more and revolt less, not productivity

@rysiek productivity is one thing. to own a persons life and dreams completely is another. and this you can only achieve with long working hours.

@benni personally I totally agree with you.

But my point was: free-market capitalists make the argument about efficiency and productivity *all the time*. So it's fun to see their reactions to something that proves a shorter work week is a good idea, and which proves it *in their own framework*.

They really have to twist themselves into knots here to "explain" why it's *still* a bad idea.

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