WORLD - 5-Day Workweek Is Dead

Arno Froese

More livable schedules have had success elsewhere in the world. Companies in Japan, New Zealand, and elsewhere have experimented with shorter workweeks in recent years, often reporting happier workers who are actually better at their jobs. But one of the largest and most high-profile recent experiments took place in Iceland, where local and federal authorities working with trade unions launched two trials of a shortened workweek, one in 2015 and one in 2017. In the trials, workers shifted from a 40-hour work week to 35 or 36 hours, with no cut to their pay. It wasn’t just office workers who participated—the trials included day care workers, police officers, care workers for people with disabilities, and people in a variety of other occupations. 

The results were impressive, according to a report on the trials published in June by Autonomy, a UK-based think tank that helped analyze them. Workers reported better work-life balance, lower stress, and greater well-being. “My older children know that we have shorter hours and they often say something like, ‘Is it Tuesday today, dad? Do you finish early today? Can I come home directly after school?’” one father said, according to the report. “And I might reply ‘Of course.’ We then go and do something—we have nice quality time.”

Encouraged by the results of the trial, many Icelandic workplaces have embraced shorter hours, with 86 percent of the working population either working shorter hours already or on contracts that will phase in the reduction in the coming years. The Autonomy report has also generated global interest at a time when workers and companies alike are rethinking what jobs should look like. For example, the shift to remote work over the last 15 months has shown that “quite drastic changes in working practices can happen quite quickly,” Kellam said. Now his work on the Iceland trials has gotten news coverage in countries from Australia to Germany, and several companies have approached Autonomy for advice on implementing shorter hours for their employees.

But making something like the Icelandic trials work in the United States would require major changes. For one thing, unions in Iceland, which represent 90 percent of workers, played a big role in negotiating both the trials and the long-term adoption of shorter hours that resulted. But union density is much lower in the United States, with just 10.8 percent of workers represented.

-www.vox.com, 13 July 2021

Arno's Commentary

The Biblical standard, “Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work” (Exodus 20:9), has been buried long ago. 

Is this a conspiracy? The answer is yes. It’s taking place in the invisible world—the powers under heaven.

If we were to compare 2021 with 1821 or even 1921, we will immediately realize the virtually unthinkable luxury mankind has created. We are reminded of Biblical examples. After the seven, glorious, productive years in Egypt, catastrophe came. That was also the case with Sodom and Gomorrah, and so it will be in the end stages of the end times. The ultimate goal? Revelation 17:14: “These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.”

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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