How Working Only 6 Hours is Better Than 8
Everyone would love having a shortened workday, but could cutting a couple of hours off your time at the office be helpful or harmful to your career and productivity? In 2015, Sweden decided to test the 6-hour workday. Their experiment yielded some surprising results, that being that a shortened workday helped workers be more productive, not less.
The experiment was conducted by medical professionals at a nursing home. The experiment was created as a way to determine whether or not a shortened workday could positively affect the productivity, quality of work and efficiency of employees. They decided to cut two hours off the workday and see what happened. Initial results indicated that workers were less fatigued on the job and could perform their duties better, despite having less time to get them done.
More than year after the experiment, many workplaces in Sweden are cutting hours off the workday. Most of them are discovering that despite having workers clocking fewer hours, they are happier and getting more done because they aren't letting other things distract them and are better able to complete their to-do list over the course of a day.
Advantages of Working Only 6 Hours
- After working 8 hours, people are tired and have less time to do the things they love, which makes them resentful and angry, which can get in the way of their performance at work. Less time at work gives people more time to pursue activities they enjoy, which makes them more effective and efficient at their jobs.
- As the day drags on, workers are actually less productive because they are getting tired and their bodies and brains are being overloaded.
- Taking care of children or facing obligations at home is easier for people when they have to spend less time at work.
- A six hour workday allows you to contribute to the wellbeing of the company you work for, while also being able to focus on your own hobbies and pursuits.
- People who work less are generally happier, which makes them more productive when they are at work.
Disadvantages of a 6-Hour Work Day
- Some employees aren't able to work only 6 hours a day. That includes medical personnel and people who work the night shift.
- Despite having a shorter workday, some employees might not be as productive as employers want them to be. They will still need to take breaks and may be distracted, which can actually decrease productivity.
- The Swedish experiment was expensive to carry out and some countries or workplaces might not be able to afford to find out if a shortened workday is a viable option for them.
What About Other Countries?
It's important to note that people with shorter workdays don't necessarily work less. For example, at a Toyota dealership, workdays were shortened to 6 hours, but pay remained the same. Employees were required to do the same amount of work and got shorter breaks. However, they were more efficient at their jobs and still completed all the tasks asked of them.
The idea of a 6-hour workday is a great one, but it might not work everywhere. It has some real benefits in certain industries and parts of the world, but wouldn't work everywhere for everything. The results of the Swedish experiment are significant and worth examination and getting changes made in other parts of the world requires people approaching government officials. Following the example of the Swedish could motivate everyone to do better at their jobs.