Sweden, the land of Vikings, IKEA and ABBA, is shifting to a six-hour work day.
Unlike the rest of us masochists, who seem determined to work longer hours despite a number of studies showing its detriment to health, happiness and productivity, businesses across Sweden have already made the switch to the shorter working day, and many more are trialling it.
The Toyota service centres in Gothenburg switched to a six-hour day 13 years ago and report happier staff, a lower turnover rate and, to no one’s surprise, ease in enticing new employees to join the company. Profits have risen 25 per cent.
‘I think the 8-hour work day is not as effective as one would think,’ Linus Feldt, CEO of Stockholm app developer Filimundus, told Fast Company.
‘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.’
The logic goes that if the working day is shorter, staff will be more motivated and have more energy to complete the same volume of work in less time. On top of higher productivity, Feldt says staff conflicts have plummeted simply because employees are happier and better-rested.
Pack your bags – we’re going to Sweden.
Words qnd images via: Metro