Advantage to Six-Hour Work Day

You’re working too much. 

An experiment conducted in Sweden that monitored nurses on reduced six-hour workday shifts finds they were not only happier, and healthier, they were equally as productive, a result that does not come as a surprise to Texas business guru Dr. Daren Martin.  The consultant known as The Culture Architect has been crunching numbers supporting the notion that longer hours don’t necessarily lead to increased workflow.  “The science and research is backing up that shorter spurts of intense work actually produces better results than people working long, long hours,” Martin tells KTRH News.

The 23-month Swedish study was conducted at an elderly care facility.  Working a traditional eight-hour day, one in five nurses said they had energy left over after work.  The number shot up to more than half when their hours were shortened to six per day.  The facility was pleased because their staff had fewer sick days to cover.  Management was pleased that all the work got done and that staff retention sky-rocketed, reducing expenses for future staff replacement.

No one in the U.S. 40-hour, five-day work-week is seeing those type of results.  “People are working longer hours but being much less productive,” observed Dr. Martin.  At a recent seminar he explained to participants that the typical American cultural workplace habit of leaving vacation days on the table doesn’t benefit workers or management, and suggests perhaps we could learn more from studying the habits of successful artists and athletes who have a daily routine of intense practice punctuated by breaks and followed by a lengthy period of recuperation. Maybe we could benefit by following cultures who integrate rest periods, or naps, in their days.

The Swedish study concluded the six-hour nurses overall were more active, less sick, less stressed and had less back and neck pain than nurses working eight-hour shifts.  Could that be a bad thing?!? 

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