Shorter Work Day?

How Many Hours Work For You?

Just how many hours should you work? In this country we’ve gone from the traditional eight hours/5day work week to 10 hours/4 day work week. In some instances people, like first responders and others (medical professionals, etc.) can be ‘on’ for complete 24 hours/3-4 day cycles or even longer.

Sweden’s come up with a new idea that tests whether or not the traditional work week can be even more improved upon. They are experimenting with a six hour work day, according to a recent New York Times article, that offers the standard eight hour pay schedule for that reduced hour work day.

Is it working? In a word, yes. 

The Test

Apparently it’s been reported that the test which is located in Sweden’s Gothenburg is proving to be quite successful.

For example, the Sahlgrenska University Hospital’s orthopedics unit switched 89 nurses and doctors to a six-hour day last year and hired 5 staffers to ensure the hospital work got done. Although the price tag was about $123,000 a month not one person has called in sick and reports indicate that the medical staff have been more efficient.

No one is overworking. Working at capacity, it appears they are not getting burnt out and so are doing a better job. PLUS those who have other responsibilities, such as caregiving a family member when not at work, may be better able to handle those stresses, too.

What could that mean for other countries, like the United States?

A change in perspective AND a change in procedure. Businesses would need to be willing to bring in more staff to handle the work flow. While it would reduce the multi-tasking that can stretch people into too many directions at once, it would also mean more people on the payroll. That could result in more paid benefits, more company taxes, and more equipment expenses (for more people); all of which some suggest could threaten a company’s bottom line profit.

There is an old saying that ‘many hands make light work’. If that is so, it will take more experimentation in other industries to discover the right mix. Such a prospect excites us because we know that service is what drives profit.  Not the other way around.

To read the New York Times article, click here . 

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