Some businesses across Sweden are moving towards a standard six-hour working day to improve work-life balance….
The eight-hour workday has been standard practice in business across the world since Henry Ford first experimented with it for factory workers.
Here, the average worker clocks up approximately 8.5 hours per day of a standard 39-hour working week.
That’s before we count the amount of (typically unpaid) overtime that clocks up as we work out of hours in this increasingly 24 hours ‘always available’ workday – the only downside to modern technology.
That’s before we mention our constant battle to get out of the office – on time. Spoiler alert: it never happens.
But Sweden has challenged this accepted practice in a progressive move that introduces a six-hour work day.
Last year, the government of Gothenburg announced that public sector employees would work fewer hours in an experiment to improve work-life balance, boost productivity, and ultimately cut costs. So far, it’s viewed as a success.
Some businesses across the country have followed Gothenberg’s move and have already implemented the change, and a retirement home is embarking on a year-long experiment to compare the costs and benefits of a shorter working day.
Lindus Feldt, CEO of Stockholm-bassed app developer. Filmundus. explained to Fast Company why his business cut back on their hours:”I think the eight-hour work day is not as effective as one would think. To stay focused on a specific work task for eight hours is a huge challenge.”
We couldn’t agree more…
Staff now appear less fatigued and seem to work better together as there are less conflicts and arguments in the office.
Several Toyota service centres in Gothenburg, switched to a six-hour day 13 years ago and report happier staff, a lower turnover rate, and ease in enticing new employees to come on board.
Hmm, we can’t imagine why.
O here’s why. Because we imagine we would leave work every day feeling like this (& not just on a Friday…)