Sanna Marin, the Prime Minister of Finland, has proposed the country begin adopting a flexible work schedule that included a four day work week with just six hours per day, via New Europe. Marin, 34, had previously made headlines this past December for being the youngest elected prime minister in the world.
The proposal is far from left-field from the young politician. When she previously held the position of minister of transport for Finland, she began advocating for the issue, claiming that it would improve employee mood, as well as productivity.
Marin stated the reason behind the proposal was the belief that workers should be able to spend more time with their families and everyday life.
“I believe people deserve to spend more time with their families, loved ones, hobbies and other aspects of life, such as culture,” she said.
“This could be the next step for us in working life,” Marin concluded. She herself is a mother, and the four other parties in her coalition are all headed by young women with children.
As a result, some have criticized Marin for having too “feminine” a stance on the issue. However, her political allies are fighting back.
Li Andersson, Finland’s minister of education and head of the Left Alliance, was one of the first to hit out at the claims.
“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 said, via The Daily Mail.
Currently, the normal work schedule for most Finns is eight hours per day, five days per week. In contrast, Americans spend on average 1,781 hours on the job each year — the highest of all first world nations.
However, several recent studies and experiments have shown the benefits of a less mandated work time. In neighboring Sweden, the six hour work day has been implemented since 2015 and has shown signs of early success, with workers reporting higher wages, productivity, and mental health.
Several corporations located in countries from New Zealand to Belgium have also begun a flexible schedule. Microsoft Japan gave its employees three day weekends during the summer, only to find that sales jumped a massive 40 percent as a result.
The proposal has even caught the attention of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.
“Shortening the work week is certainly one idea that we have got to look at,” he stated at an Iowa rally in October, via The Week.
As was previously reported by The Inquisitr, the Vermont senator is currently tied for first place in the state, in addition to leading in New Hampshire.