Swedish Businesses Shifting to Six-hour Workday
Businesses across Sweden are introducing shorter, six-hour workdays so workers can enjoy a better work-life balance.
According to the Science Alert website, the aim is to get more done in a shorter period of time as workers will be more focused and productive during the working hours and will have more time left to enjoy their private lives.
The Toyota service centres in the city of Gothenburg switched to a six-hour workday 13 years ago and report happier staff, a lower turnover rate and ease in enticing new employees to join the company. Meanwhile, profits have increased by a quarter.
In April last year, the Gothenburg authorities said that public sector employees would work fewer hours. The experiment which aimed to improve work-life balance, boost productivity, and cut costs is being viewed as a success so far.
A study published in The Lancet magazine last month analysed data from 25 studies that monitored health of over 600,000 people from the US, Europe, and Australia for up to 8.5 years. The study found that people who worked 55 hours a week had a 33% greater risk of having a stroke than people who worked a 35 - 40 hour week, and a 13% increased risk of developing coronary heart disease. A separate study found that working 49-hour weeks was associated with lower mental health, particularly in women.
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