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

By Kate Hassett

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...

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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