Irish Dream – A Shorter Working Day?

Shorter working hours for happier employees?

A trial is currently occurring in Sweden that may revolutionise the workplace around the world if it proves positive. What exactly is the trial? A six hour working day, something I’m sure we could all get behind!

The reason behind the trial is to try and discover if working shorter hours can lead to happier and more productive employees. The research is being conducted by the Svartedalens retirement home in Gothenburg and it has found that nurses who only work six hour days are 20 per cent happier and are also more productive both at work and at home.

They also took less sickness time and have been reported to be able to do more activities with the residents, a figure of 64 per cent. So, is this definitive proof that a shorter week is better for companies?

Well another company operating in Sweden, a Toyota centre also in Gothenburg has been using shorter working days for over a decade. The results? Happier employees who are less willing to leave, meaning a lower turnover rate and also a happy company as they have seen an increase in profits.

Irish Workers Want A Shorter Day

It would seem that Sweden’s attempts at shorter working days would be much appreciated in Europe as well, as a new study by iReach has found that a majority of Irish workers (up to two thirds) would prefer fewer hours.

Sweden is pioneering shorter days

Sweden is pioneering shorter days

Irish workers feel that they are working too many hours and are not being as productive as they could be. For example most people work an eight hour day, and it would be much preferred if they could reduce this by two hours.

iReach’s study also discovered that women are more in favour of having a shorter working day than men, in fact up to 72 per cent of women would prefer this. A strong reason for this may be that people with children may prefer shorter working days, and in fact 70 per cent of people with children agreed. But at the same time, 63 per cent of those without children also want a shorter working day.

Could A Shorter Day Be Possible?

So, perhaps the dream of shorter working hours could be closer than we think? The Daily Telegraph in April 2016 reported that six out of 10 bosses believe that a six hour day could be more beneficial for businesses in the United Kingdom.

A survey by Crown Workplace Relocations found that only 14 per cent of bosses asked ruled the possibility of a shorter day out. An interesting side note here is that those working in bigger cities such as Birmingham, London, etc were more supportive of shorter days.

Would You Prefer A Shorter Day?

Do you think a shorter working day would be more beneficial for you or your company? Do you already have a shorter working day? Why not let us know, we’d love to hear from you.

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Sarah Jubb

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