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Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Before the pandemic, the four-day workweek was a pipe dream. Now, it's quickly gaining popularity.

Why it matters: The pandemic underscored burnout's damaging effect on workforces — and how flexibility can mitigate it. One solution is to work fewer days, which could paradoxically boost productivity.

Driving the news: In Iceland, cuts in working hours — without accompanying pay cuts — did not impact worker productivity, new research shows, and employees reported less stress and an improved work-life balance, writes Axios' Yacob Reyes.

  • The tech company Kickstarter is experimenting with a four-day workweek, per Axios' Ina Fried.
  • Microsoft's Japan offices reported a 40% spike in productivity during a trial in which employees have Fridays off.

The big picture: More and more firms —especially tech companies on the West Coast — are looking into the four-day workweek, but it's still a tiny part of the economy.

  • There are 4.5 times as many ZipRecruiter job postings mentioning four-day workweeks now as there were in 2016, reports Bloomberg. But they only comprise 0.6% of all postings.

What's next: It's not just the length of the week that firms are rethinking.

  • The pandemic spotlighted working parents' tough job of juggling work and child care, and one idea is to shorten workdays themselves to align with the school day's 3pm end time, Adam Grant, an organizational psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School, writes in the Economist.

Go deeper

Study of four-day work week in Iceland an "overwhelming success"

Reykjavik, Iceland. Photo: Tim Graham/Getty Images

Cuts in working hours — without accompanying pay cuts — did not impact worker productivity in Iceland, new research shows, and employees reported less stress and an improved work-life balance.

Why it matters: Since the trials, 86% of Iceland's entire working population has moved to shorter hours or has gained the right to shorten their working hours, per the new study, conducted by the U.K. think tank Autonomy and research organization Association for Sustainable Democracy (Alda).

Finding the right mix to make hybrid offices work

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The overwhelming majority of workers and employers want hybrid work with some days in the office and some days away, or even some workers permanently in person and others always remote. But, done imperfectly, such a system could create a two-class system between those in the office and those out of it.

What's happening: Now some firms are starting to figure out what the future of equitable hybrid work and hybrid workplaces could actually look like.

Trump's Republican critics rake in cash

Reps. Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger during the first Jan. 6 hearing. Photo: Andrew Harnik-Pool/Getty Images

Republican critics of Donald Trump have raked in campaign cash this year as their votes to impeach the former president and investigate the Jan. 6 Capitol attack have put them in the crosshairs of Trump and his allies.

Why it matters: The 2022 midterms won't just determine which party controls Congress. They're also shaping up to be a test of Trump's continued hold on the GOP. The few remaining Republican dissenters in Washington need to put up big fundraising numbers if they hope to stave off a purge.