By Marga Salvador on October 10, 2016
There's been quite a lot of buzz about companies adopting a shorter workday to help boost employee efficiency. When a Swedish retirement home cut their work day from 8 to 6 hours per day with the same pay, the government-run home experienced increasingly improved results with both the nurses and the elderly they were caring for.
The idea of working less hours and getting the same, if not more, work done is not a new one. As early as 2003, there were companies piloting the 30-hour week and the results were good enough that the shorter work day became their standard. While there are arguments that adopting the shorter work day isn't for everyone, the number of companies making the shift have been growing in recent years and some have even assumed a 4-day work week.
Your company might not be ready for a three-day weekend just yet but perhaps a 6-hour work day is for you. Here's why:
When employees are made to work 8 hours a day, they have a tendency to procrastinate because of the amount of time they have. Our brains stretch the workload and in doing so, tire us out. Having 6 hours to finish their work, employees will be able to be on crunch time without losing focus or much energy. They will be "pressured" to finish their work without the opportunity to burn out within the day.
More time for everyone
A 9-3 or 8-2 work day means that you can either bring your kids to school or pick them up and in both cases, you can still spend a good bit of the afternoon with them. If you don't have kids, this extra time can be for you to spend as you please–do some cleaning around the house, pick up a hobby, cook a real dinner, or simply read a book. A shorter work day means more time for you, too.
Employees who stay
As the boss, a shorter work day is a risk but to your employees, it's quite the attraction. You can use this to leverage new talent and to keep your existing talent on board. Martin Banck of Toyota Gothenburg made the switch and his employee retention is better than ever, as are the sales of the car company. Employees, a good number being millennials, value work-life balance and if you can help provide that, they won't go anywhere.
Employees who are healthy
Constant long hours result in poor performance and increased stress levels.Conflict in the workplace is also triggered by tiredness and irritability. Alleviating the late work nights and the lack of sleep from your employee's days will do wonders for their well-being and in the long run, this will show in their output and the office harmony. By allowing them (and yourself) to recharge properly, health and wellness will improve drastically.
A smaller carbon footprint
Everyone dreads Manila traffic but the shorter work day and a new energy level might prompt employees to ditch their cars and opt to commute to work. No matter the size of the company, a car off the road is a car off the road. For the individual, this also means nearly beating the traffic altogether; for the environment, you would actually be decreasing the traffic and pollution. Two for the price of one at no added cost.
Are you ready to make the switch?