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Sweden announces plans to shorten the workday, whilst Australian and New Zealand work hours increase

Sweden has announced they will be changing over to a 6 hour work day. Looks like we'll be packing our bags then...

Sweden announces plans to shorten the workday, whilst Australian and New Zealand work hours increase

Whilst studies are consistently showing that working more than the average 50 hour week is negatively impacting our health, work hours around the world seem to be increasing, instead of decreasing.

The adverse effects of long work hours and less work/life balance was something that Sweden was having a major issue with. In order to combat the growing health risks, not only physically but mentally, Sweden has offered a solution that has employees and their employers reaping the benefits.

As such, the government has committed to a one year trial moving towards a 6-hour work day.

“I think the 8-hour work day is not as effective as one would think. To stay focused on a specific work task for 8 hours is a huge challenge. In order to cope, we mix in things and pauses to make the work day more endurable. At the same time, we are having it hard to manage our private life outside of work,” Linus Feldt, CEO of Stockholm-based app developer Filimundus, told Adele Peters at Fast Company. 

Filimundus switched his hourly policy over last year and has seen astounding results already.

“We want to spend more time with our families, we want to learn new things or exercise more. I wanted to see if there could be a way to mix these things,” he said.

This significant decrease in work hours has meant a few changes needed to be made. First, the employees were asked to remain absent from their social media accounts, ensuring productivity and keeping them focussed, as well as resisting other temptations.

“My impression now is that it is easier to focus more intensely on the work that needs to be done and you have the stamina to do it and still have energy left when leaving the office,” he told Fast Company.

His reports have indicated that not only has productivity increased, but he has noticed far less employee conflicts and a heightened energy level within the office.

Would you like to see this implemented in your workplace?


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One Comment on Sweden announces plans to shorten the workday, whilst Australian and New Zealand work hours increase

  • Theresa
    October 3, 2015 11:32 am

    Yes I would like to see this kind of action implemented in Australia and in the western world. I have worked 12 hour days and then the next day 8 and then the next 4 then back up to 10 hours. This rollercoaster event of work makes me extremely tired and the unbalance it causes with my social and family life causes increased difficult.

    I would also like to have the time to more of the things I want to do and less of the things the boss wants me to do. After all when it is said and done, you spend your work life building up some one else’s business and what do you get for it at the end, not even a golden handshake anymore.

    You just pick up your Super and go. Boss’s and managers do not care about the people they employ these days, because I have seen their attitude in that if any of their employees do not work out they will simply move on and get some more, because there is a glut of unemployed people on the market. And people are scared to lose their jobs these days as it is difficult to find another and you can spend long term time trying to find the right position again.

    So, yes I say, YES. Let’s model our work lives on the 6 hour lifestyle and say goodbye to work overload and hello to better health and happiness in more than one way.

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