Too much of anything can potentially kill you, even working. Specially working. Past researches have shown that working for long hours is associated with an increased risk in having a stroke. Isn’t this enough evidence for the number of working hours to be reduced? Sweden seems to have taken the hint: it has transitioned to a standard 6-hour-work-day lifestyle.
Many companies in Sweden have already applied the change of reducing the daily office hours down to 6 only. Furthermore, a retirement home is implementing it for an experiment to last for a year. Thereafter, the costs and benefits of the shorter hours will be compared.
“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,” said the CEO of Stockholm-based app developer Filimundus, Linus Feldt, in a statement to fastcoexist.com.
Filimundus already took to the 6-hour workday a year ago.
“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,” said Feldt.
Compensating for the decreased working hours, Feldt’s employees are instructed to keep off online social networks and similar distractions as much as possible.
“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,” explained Feldt to Fast Company.
Fedlt also added that the productivity level has not changed, and that, according to him, the employees were less involved in staff conflicts because they were happier and less tired.
As for the retirement home mentioned earlier, the change was applied to their nurses without reducing their salaries. The experiment will end in 2016, and the high cost of recruiting 14 new staff members to compensate for the decreased hours will then be evaluated.
Now, when will the rest of the world pay heed?