The largest pilot of a 4 day work week (35-36hrs) took place in Iceland with 2.5k people taking part in the study.

  • Public sector have a 4 day work week
  • Europe

4 Day Work Week in Iceland

Iceland is one of the countries most in support of the 4 day work week. Between 2015 and 2019, Iceland led one of the largest 4 day work week pilots. The trial involved about 2,500 participants with no reduction in pay.

The trial was considered a huge success and has resulted in a huge shift in Iceland’s standard working hours, with 90% of the population currently enjoying reduced hours or other work modifications.

Working Hours in Iceland

Although the average work week hours in Iceland has traditionally been 40 hours, the Icelandic government recently changed the work week to around 35 hours. Standard office hours vary by the season. In the summer months, most businesses are open from 8 AM to 4 PM, while the rest of the year standard hours are 9 AM to 5 PM.

In Iceland, requiring an employee to work more than 13 hours per day is prohibited. Unless an employee’s contract states otherwise, overtime pay starts after 8 hours per day and for the first 162.5 hours of overtime in a month, the employee is paid at a rate of 0.875% of their regular pay.

Vacation Policy in Iceland

The minimum amount of vacation time an employee receives in Iceland is 24 days per year and is paid at a rate of 10.17% of the employee’s total wages. Depending on how long an employee has worked for the same employer, they may receive additional vacation days.

Iceland offers 16 paid public holidays to employees each year. Most of these holidays are around either Christmas or Easter. If an employee is asked to work on a public holiday, they are compensated with 1.375% of their monthly salary for each hour worked.

Part Time Working in Iceland

Working part time is common in Iceland. Of Iceland’s total workforce, nearly half (or 48%) are employed part time. Women in Iceland are far more likely to be employed part time than men. 60% of the total female workforce works part time, while only 38% of Iceland’s male population works part time.

Remote Working in Iceland

Even before the Covid-19 pandemic, many people in Iceland worked remotely at least some of the time. At the end of 2019, approximately one third of Iceland’s employees between the ages of 25 and 64 worked from home.

Remote Working in Iceland


Although this number rose during the pandemic, the overall number of Iceland’s employees who work from home has decreased since 2019. As of 2022, Iceland had approximately 64,000 remote workers.