Six-hour working day 'boosts productivity and makes people happier'

Nurses who worked six-hour days were found to be 20 per cent happier and had more energy

Samuel Osborne
Wednesday 11 May 2016 12:56
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Commuters walk to work over London Bridge
Commuters walk to work over London Bridge

A shorter work day increases productivity and makes people happier, research has found.

The Svartedalens retirement home in Gothenburg, Sweden's second largest city, conducted an experiment to determine whether cutting hours improved patient care and boosted employees' morale.

Nurses who worked six-hour days for the past year were found to be 20 per cent happier and had more energy at work and in their spare time.

Sweden's 6 hour work day explained

The 68 nurses also took half as much sick time as those in the control group and were able to do 64 per cent more activities with elderly residents.

They were also 2.8 times less likely to take any time off work in a two-week period, Bengt Lorentzon, a researcher on the project, told Bloomberg.

"If the nurses are at work more time and are more healthy, this means that the continuity at the residence has increased," Mr Lorentzon said. "That means higher quality [care]."

Sweden made headlines in 2015 when it was reported the country was moving towards a six-hour work day.

A Toyota centre in Gothenburg, Sweden's second largest city, implemented shorter working hours over a decade ago, with the company reporting happier staff, a lower turnover rate and an increase in profits.

Their results prompted a number of other Swedish companies to trial shorter hours.

Six out of 10 bosses in the UK agreed cutting employees' work hours would improve productivity, the Daily Telegraph reported.

Longer working hours have been liniked with heart disease and stroke, according to a medical study published in the Lancet.

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