City envy: we want a four-day working week like Helsinki

Written by
Anya Meyerowitz
Photograph: Shutterstock

Going back to work after Christmas is hard, but imagine how much easier it would be if we only had a four-day week made up of six-hour shifts? Well, that’s exactly what Finland’s new prime minister, Sanna Marin, wants to introduce. 

This new working week is already in place in Sweden, where a six-hour shift experiment first began in 2015, and Ms Marin hopes that the reclaimed hours will help people pursue their hobbies and get in more quality family time. 

Currently, the Finnish workforce follows a similar pattern to the UK: eight hours a day, five days a week with two days off, so this new proposal, if successful, would mean Finns gain an extra 16 hours of free time every week.

Just think what you could do with 16 wonderful extra hours. Finally visit all those London museums you’ve never made it to? Do all 101 of the best things to do in London? Or watch 16 episodes of ‘Ru Paul’s Drag Race’? Hey, no judgment here. 

‘I believe people deserve to spend more time with their families, loved ones, hobbies and other aspects of life, such as culture,’ Marin, the world's youngest prime minister, said recently. ‘This could be the next step for us in working life.’

Finally, a political policy we can wholeheartedly get on board with.

Pondering which new interests you’d take up if you worked a 24-hour week? Check out our pick of the best hobbies to try in London. 

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