A 4-DAY WEEK IN ICELAND: ALMOST 9 OUT OF 10 ICELANDERS ARE ENTITLED TO WORK SHORTER HOURS…

Iceland has undertaken the largest trial of a 4-day-week, globally. It has been such an outstanding success that 86 percent of Iceland’s employees have either already adopted it, or at least have the possibility of working shorter hours. This experiment has shown that working shorter hours while getting paid full wages is beneficial for both the employees, by improving their health, happiness, and productivity, as well as the employer, as it produces positive economic results and greater profits.

One percent of Iceland’s employees worked shorter hours

In 2015, due to pressure from the public and the labour union, the government of Iceland and the municipal council of Reykjavík initiated the worldwide most extensive experiment on reduced working hours. Over the period of four years, 2.500 employees from 100 enterprises worked an average of 35 to 36 hours instead of 40 hours, while getting paid in full. This trial was extremely successful, leading to a change in work-time regulations.
This trial included over one percent of Iceland’s labour force, working in various occupational groups. Childcare and nursing homes were as much part of the experiment as hospitals, schools, service centres, or public/municipal administration offices. Moreover, this also involved “nine to five”- jobs as well as shift-work. After two years of academic research and evaluation of results, it became clear that a reduction of working hours is not only possible but beneficial to all.

Gudmundur Haraldsson, researcher of the British think tank ALDA (European Association for Local Democracy), states that: “the Icelandic shorter working week journey tells us that not only is it possible to work less in modern times but that progressive change is possible too.”

4-day-week increases happiness, health, and productivity

It was identified that employees with reduced work hours experienced less stress and the risk of burnouts decreased. They felt happier, were able to spend more time on recreational activities, housekeeping, hobbies, be more active and spend extra time with their family. All of this did not interfere with the quality or productivity of their work. On the contrary, in most cases, they performed equally as well, or better and got things done quicker.

This can be attributed to the fact that employees are more focused and efficient. The government and municipal administration did not have additional expenses, as the trial was cost-neutral.

Will Stronge, research director at Autonomy – a think tank investigating the Icelandic experiment, states in summary: “This study shows that the world’s largest ever trial of a shorter working week in the public sector was an overwhelming success and it shows that the public sector is ready for being a pioneer of shorter working weeks – and lessons can be learned for other governments.”

Iceland as a model for other countries

More and more countries are open to experimenting and testing shorter work hours. Spain announced a similar country-wide trial of a 4-day-week in spring. Up to 6.000 workers will participate over a three-year period. Companies in New Zealand and East-Tyrol have also reported their successful attempts.

The Icelandic study has already had a considerable impact. Since the end of the trial, many labour unions have negotiated new work-time regulations. 86 percent of their workforce are working reduced hours or at least have the possibility of doing so.
“A shorter work-week is the future, there is no going back” says a participant of the study.

Source: Kontrast/Lena Krainz Author – ScoopMe

HOW TO MAKE MONEY FROM AN OLD TAX DISC…

According to Money Magpie, “some tax discs have even gone for up to £1,000 and now, more than six years after they became useless, they’re still climbing in value. In fact, a collection was sold in May 2021 on eBay for £1,666!

Skint Dad writes that you just need to sell them on to a collector. The thing you need to consider is whether you want to make some money immediately, or if you can hang onto them for a while in the hope their value will go up.

A survey showed that 48% of people simply threw the tax disc away when it ran out but a third chose to hang on to it as a keepsake. This means there are fewer tax discs in existence and the ones remaining could get a good financial return.

One of the best places to sell your item at the moment is eBay. Your stash could be scooped by a “velologist” – someone who buys and trades car discs – on the hunt for a new collection. And, according to The Sun newspaper, if you have one that is un-perforated, it appears to be more attractive to buyers.

If you have a Welsh car tax disc lurking somewhere at the back of your cupboard, it might be worth taking it out and putting it on eBay, as they are some of the rarest discs you can find. Old car tax discs can sometimes go for hundreds of pounds, including this one dated from the 1920s.

Money Magpie explains that people were already selling tax discs before production was stopped, but now that there are only a limited amount of them left, the longer you keep them, the more valuable they will be. They have become collectable just like old stamps.

  • The highest amount paid for a tax disc so far is £1,087.80, which was for a disc from 1921 – the year car tax discs were first introduced.
  • The previous record was a disc from the same batch which sold for a whopping £810.

.The exact return you can expect to get from your old tax disc is still unknown, however, and it’s hard to say for certain exactly how much veleologists will be willing to pay in the future. While some sell on eBay for 99p, others sell for £250.

Source: Money Magpie, Skint Dad, The Sun

How do you keep from feeling overwhelmed on the entrepreneurial journey? — The Fastlane Entrepreneur Forum

Hello Everyone, I am pretty new to the forum, and on what I would describe as the starting stages of my second go-around at the entrepreneurial journey. I’m currently looking at and evaluating a lot of different ideas that come to my mind through the frameworks I learned from MJ’s books. Two main things are…

How do you keep from feeling overwhelmed on the entrepreneurial journey? — The Fastlane Entrepreneur Forum

13 TIPS TO HELP YOU WORK FROM HOME AND THE OFFICE…

With some of us working from home a few days and another few days in the office it is essential that we keep everything in good order so we can work productively.

1.Do NOT skip lunch or desk breaks as working without breaks is not productive. Never feel guilty about having a break we all need them. Maybe set the alarm on your phone everyday specifically for your breaks and lunch. Getting outside for half an hour during your lunch would be a great way to get essential Vitamin D rays.

2. If you can set up your desk so you feel comfortable and are happy what you are looking at. A blank plain wall can be a bit boring. If you have a window and can put your desk under that then that is a bonus. I am lucky to have mine under a small window but nevertheless a window and with a view of the countryside. My room is small so I put mirror tiles on one wall which not only reflects the light but means I can see a different view of outside. They are inexpensive but work amazing. You could also put up a poster that you love if you cannot sit under a window and maybe use the mirror tiles like I did to reflect across the room.

3. If you are fortunate enough to have a study/room that you are using specifically as your home office, then keep it tidy like you would in an office and if your workstation is on a table in your house then make sure you put everything away at the end of the day. It will help clear your mind and know that this is still your home, where you can chill.

4. If you are feeling lonely you can book into a co-working space. Even if you are not interacting, sometimes it’s just nice to have people in the background so you do not feel isolated. Now Covid rules have eased a little you could sit in a cafe and do your work which can be very productive for some people who like the sound and people around them.

5. I call my office space my burrow as I work and play in here. I love crafts and can easily put all my blogging work away and become productive on something else, so I decided not to call it my office from the very beginning. Call your space whatever you think suitable and let your family and friends know what it is so that they do not interrupt you while working in your own space.

6. Getting in the fresh air as I mentioned before is essential for your health and if you always walked to work then why not leave at the time you used to leave and walk around the block before you start work. You could do the same at the end of the day. It will help keep your steps up and make you feel good.

7. Make sure you have at least two of everything like two headsets, two chargers etc as it can be nightmare if you only have one and the last time you used it was downstairs and find someone else using it in the house. It will also help if you are only working say one a day a week as your set will be handy to pop into your bag ready for a day in the office.

8. With back pain becoming a big issue now it is important that no matter how many days you are working away from home that you have the right sturdy backpack to put your laptop and other bits inside it. Using a good backpack will distribute the load evenly and hopefully prevent any back problems.

9. Make sure all your work is backed up before you go into the office. Maybe use a digital notebook instead of a physical book that way you will never loose it or leave it behind by accident.

10. Dress as if you were going into the office outside your home. There were so many articles in the papers about people wearing a shirt and tie with jogging bottoms. It is not something you would wear if you went into the office outside your home so why do it at home. Weekends are for leisure wear. If I don’t make the effort every day even if I am not moving from the house I feel less inclined to work as well.

11. If you are still not getting into the office but are missing your colleagues at work then have a Zoom catch up once a week at least. Maybe organise a quiz night.

12. Sitting in the right chair is important for your posture. There are several companies that sell specific office chairs with posture in mind but if you cannot afford one of those you can easily adapt one for yourself. I have a normal office chair on wheels with arms and I bought a sacroiliac cushion and lumber cushion and a chair cover, so they stay in place. I also always wear a support belt/top to keep my posture correct.

13. Another important thing to remember whether working from home or in the office is the height of your laptop and ergonomic adaptions. I wrote an article on my Back Pain Blog all about these. It is well worth taking a few minutes to read about them.

Source: Vitality BackPainBlog,