On any given weekday, how much time do you spend working? Not sure? Well, according to the Bureau of Labor, that number hovers around the 8 hour mark for most Americans.
In Sweden, though, things are a bit different. Many employers there have decided to chop the workday down to a mere 6 hours. They haven’t chopped expectations, though; in fact, they expect workers to get more done in 6 hours, not less. Some of them have placed an outright ban on social media and all other distractions at work.
On the surface, that sounds very intense and boorish. But here are 3 reasons a high-intensity 6 hour workday is actually an awesome idea.
#1 – Workers accomplish more.
In an 8-hour work day, how much time would you say you actually spend working? Let’s be real – it’s not 8 hours. According to statistics, it’s more like 5. It’s not really your fault, though.
“To stay focused on a specific work task for eight hours is a huge challenge,” says Linus Feldt, a Swedish employer. Feldt’s company switched to a 6-hour workday last year and he says it’s made employees more productive – both at work and home.
“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 the energy left when leaving the office,” he says.
Swedish researchers confirmed this when they placed a group of 68 nurses on 6 hour shifts. The nurses did 64% more activities with their patients than those on an 8-hour schedule. They were also tree times less likely to take time off work.
As per Swedish law, employers must pay their workers the same wage they earned before the switch.
Now, you might be thinking ‘that totally stinks for business owners.’ Actually, it doesn’t. Maria Brath, a Swedish employer says she now spends less time hiring people because her existing staff gets more done. This saves a ton of money. According to some estimates, businesses around the world spend $3,300 per new hire.