As companies push to increase productivity while maintaining an emphasis on work-life balance, the short workweek is becoming more commonplace. The countries in the European Union are especially known for their family-friendly work cultures—and Finland is no different. The Northern European country’s soon-to-be prime minister is making international headlines for her proposal: a 24-hour workweek.
Sanna Marin, a 34-year-old mom of one, is currently the country’s transit minister and will become the country’s youngest-ever prime minister some time this week, making her the world’s youngest sitting prime minister. Her six-hour day, four-day workweek idea has been a hot topic since she first announced it in August.
“A four-day work week, a six-hour workday. Why couldn’t it be the next step? Is eight hours really the ultimate truth? 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,” Sanna said to the Helsinki Times.
International companies like Microsoft Japan and a German consulting firm have implemented short workweeks, with a four-day workweek and a five-hour workday, respectively. Both companies found their employees not only had more time to spend with family or on hobbies, but their productivity increased as well.
But those examples illustrate the benefit of a short workweek for individual companies—we can’t wait to see what it can do for an entire country. Working moms, who wants to move to Finland?