The 6-Hour Workday: Fad or Future?

Oct 27, 2015 | Categories: workplace culture, talent management

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Sweden executives think they may have found the answer. In an experiment that is catching fire and media attention, many Swedish-based companies are testing the six-hour workday to see if employees are more efficient.

The initial results? For Swedish workers, they are showing signs of more discipline and focus in completing their tasks, making fewer mistakes as a result of being overly stressed, and experiencing more overall satisfaction when it comes to their work.

Companies are seeing the benefit, too — and not just with more productive employees; work is actually getting completed quicker. They are finding that time is money — and that less working time can actually lead to more profit.

The question becomes: Is the six-hour workday just a fad or is it the future?

It’s tough to know for sure, but one aspect of this initiative stands out: It’s not about the increase in productivity, although this is a welcomed by-product. It speaks to a bigger trend of companies making an earnest attempt to care for the people it employs.

At the root of the six-hour workday is more work-life balance, less stress and happier employees.

This trend — caring employers finding new ways to take care of their staff — is on the rise and is likely here to stay. 

We’ll see different manifestations of this playing out — breaking the standard eight-hour day being only one example — as corporations see that happy and fulfilled employees are the secret to good business.

Companies that want to better harness the potential of their people have many options beyond simply shortening the workday. They can measure the stress levels of their staff to determine the best course of action in helping them find more balance. 

Discovering each person’s behaviors and driving forces can provide incredible insight into how a person likes to work and what fulfills them in their day-to-day.

Bottom line: Companies that care about their people will be the companies that succeed in the future. The smart ones will redefine work in a way that is meaningful for their people and profitable for the organization.

 

 

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Jennifer Lawhead

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