In Sweden, 6-hour working days increase productivity, energy and happiness

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Office benefits like free snacks and gym membership discounts just go so far. Appears, if you really want to make your employees happy, consider cutting their hours.

That’s what a Swedish city found. Recently, researchers in the country’s second largest city, Gothenburg, conducted a 23-month study that tested a six-hour working day for nurses in a healthcare center. From February 2015 to December 2016, the researchers examined the effects of a shorter working week of 68 female nurses, a profession considered to be very stressful. Nursing hours were cut, but their salary was in

They found that nurses’ productivity levels increased as a result of working shorter days. They took fewer days and were obviously happier and more energetic. Overall, nurses who worked for six hours worked 4.7 per cent fewer days of sickness than when they worked eight hours.

The proportion of nurses who still had energy after their shift also increased – from about 20 percent to 50 percent for those who worked six hours a day. This extra energy may be partly because the six-hour group increased its physical activity by 24 percent over the duration of the study. “Less fatigue and more physical activity is the big improvement,” said Bengt Lorentzon, one of the researchers who conducted the study, The Washington Post.

They found that nurses’ productivity levels increased as a result of working shorter days. They took fewer days and were obviously happier and more energetic. Overall, nurses who worked for six hours worked 4.7 per cent fewer days of sickness than when they worked eight hours.

The proportion of nurses who still had energy after their shift also increased – from about 20 percent to 50 percent for those who worked six hours a day. This extra energy may be partly because the six-hour group increased its physical activity by 24 percent over the duration of the study. “Less fatigue and more physical activity is the big improvement,” said Bengt Lorentzon, one of the researchers who conducted the study, The Washington Post.

However, the study did not take long to determine if shorter working days would lead to long-term improved health for employees – thereby reducing healthcare costs for employers – noted Lorentzon.

The study concluded that by working for shorter days, nurses managed their tasks better and were happier, healthier and less stressed. “They would go the extra mile,” said Lorentzon. “They had more time to sit and listen, read a book, watch a magazine with [patients] or comfort those who do not feel so good.”

Employers with shorter working weeks for employees may worry about the costs of having additional jobs to complete (as for nurses) jobs that consider the savings that more productive employees would receive. But for companies that do not trust shift workers, the potential for increased productivity can take six hours to experiment with.

 

 

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