Sanna Marin, the second-youngest head of government in the world and the leader of the Social Democratic Party who took over as Prime Minister in December 2019 has called for the introduction of a flexible working schedule in the country that would involve a four-day-week and six-hour working day.
At the 120th anniversary of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in Turku, she announced that
“I believe people deserve to spend more time with their families, loved ones, hobbies and other aspects of life, such as culture.”
“It is important to allow Finnish citizens to work less. It is not a question of governing with a feminine style but offering help and keeping promises to voters.”
She had advocated for a shorter workweek when she was the Minister of Transport.
The average working hours in Finland are eight hours per day and five days per week before this new working law. People of Finland welcomed the proposal with great enthusiasm
Sanna Marin tweeted about her view on the new Working Hours Act.
”The strength of a society is measured not by the wealth of its most affluent members, but by how well its most vulnerable citizens are able to cope. The question we need to ask is whether everyone has the chance to lead a life of dignity.”https://t.co/WUnJxpWyQ9
— Sanna Marin (@MarinSanna) December 31, 2019
Finland gets inspiration from its neighboring country Sweden, where the six-hour-day working day was trialed and results showed that employees were happier, wealthier and more productive.
Microsoft Japan also took steps to improve work-life balance by introducing a three-day weekend for their employees. According to the results, productivity went up by a staggering 39.9 percent.
In New Zealand, a legal company Perpetual Guardian gives a trail to a policy of four-day workweek. The CEO Andrew Barnes said
“We’ve seen is a massive increase in engagement and staff satisfaction”
Many countries took trails of four days working policy but Finland looks set to remain way ahead of the curve thanks to a new Working Hours Act. This act will apply from January 1, 2020, and it will allow the majority of full-time employees the right to decide when and where they work for at least half of their working hours.
World’s economic forum tweeted a report of statistics about the effects of flexible working hours
— World Economic Forum (@wef) August 20, 2019
Finland is set to remain an icon of flexible working that the rest of the world can learn from.