Designed by Rediffusion for the Noun Project

Designed by Rediffusion for the Noun Project

In Gothenburg, Sweden, a group of workers are about to start an experiment to measure whether less office hours result in higher productivity, less burnout, and a better quality of work. Fast Company explains:

The year-long project, set to officially begin July 1st, will divide some workers into two groups. One enviable test group will work shorter days, while their colleagues will work eight hours each day…

“We’ll compare the two afterwards and see how they differ,” Mat Pilhem, the Left Party deputy mayor of Gothenburg, told The Local. “We hope to get the staff members taking fewer sick days and feeling better mentally and physically after they’ve worked shorter days.”

We’ll all have to wait until next year or so to see the results, but we’ve said before that the number of hours you work does not equal better work produced.

Read the rest here.

  • Sarah Peterson

    We’re doing something similar to this over the summer at my work. Everyone has one 1/2 day off each week until Labor Day. Having seen the positive results of taking time off especially in busy seasons, I feel like we’ll actually see a rise in productivity and worker satisfaction—others think something will fall through the cracks because they need that time to get everything done. I guess we’ll find out!

    • Sasha

      Let us know how it goes!

    • Lumutz

      The sticking point for me is that your workers know they’re being experimented on and most likely would want less work time. So their incentive is to prove the hypothesis–‘I can be just as productive on less time’. I’d be curious if people’s findings are the same when fewer hours is the norm.

      • introvert

        A while back I use to work in retail. I changed my 5 day working week to 4 days because I simply felt I wanted to balance life and work more equally.
        All my sales statistics remained the same, I sold as much in 4 days as I ever did in 5. I was a much happier individual working for 2 days, then 1 off, 2 on, 2 off each week. I had far more energy.
        When people come to work on Monday and Tuesday, they often have in the back of their mind about how long the week is to go, it’s depressing and they pace themselves. Where as, if you only have 2 days to work before your next day off, you work far more efficiently.

      • Maureen

        you can “fake it” for two weeks. you can’t fake it for year.

  • Bill Codignton

    Here’s whats gonna happen:

    The group working 6 hours will accomplish the same amount (or more if they realize the point of the experiment) and the people working more will be envious and resentful that they drew the short stick and have to work longer.

    At the end of it, the analyzers will not be analyzing whether 6 hours is as productive as 8 hours when doing a 3 hour job; Instead they will be analyzing how stupid this idea was and how it tore the company in two.

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