Sweden Has Been Experimenting With A Six-Hour Working Day And Guess What? It’s Making People More Efficient

A number of businesses in Gothenburg have introduced a six-hour working day and it's improved productivity

In what could spell the end of the normal 9-to-5, a company in Sweden has been testing out the six-hour working day and have found it makes people work harder.

Elderly-care nurses in a retirement home in Gothenburg have switched from the standard eight-hour shift in an attempt to improve efficiency and quality of care and it’s working.

‘I used to be exhausted all the time, I would come home from work and pass out on the sofa,’ nurse Lise-Lotte Pettersson, 41, told The Guardian. ‘But not now. I am much more alert: I have much more energy for my work, and also for family life.’

‘Since the 1990s we have had more work and fewer people – we can’t do it any more,’ admitted head of elderly care, Ann-Charlotte Dahlbom Larsson. ‘There is a lot of illness and depression among staff in the care sector because of exhaustion – the lack of balance between work and life is not good for anyone.’

As well as increasing efficiency, the companies that have implemented this radical change also report a much lower staff turnover.

The promise of a shorter working day for the same pay not only attracts employees but keeps them loyal, even when tempted by higher wages.

It’s not just this nursing home that has implemented a shorter day. A car service centre and an internet start-up company, both in Gothenburg, operate with six-hour shifts and have reaped the same benefits.

No word yet on whether or not six-hour shifts will make their way over to the UK but seeing as Work and Pensions Minister Iain Duncan Smith thinks zero-hour contracts help people maintain a healthy work-life balance we’re not holding our breath.

Would you welcome a six-hour working day?

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