Stanford Scholar And Silicon Valley Consultant Makes The Case For Four-Hour WorkdaysBy Emily Marks, UniversityHerald Reporter
There has been an ongoing debate about work hours and productivity. Some companies have tried to adapt to lesser work hours per day to see whether operations can still run smoothly even when giving employees enough time for work-life balance.
The issue came about when there have been a lot of instances where workers report about burnout and being constantly tired all the time because of their jobs. It all boiled down to not having enough time to pursue their interests and passions outside of work and building their relationships.
Quartz reported that being "busy" has become a type of status symbol nowadays. There's the assumption that the more hours employees work, the more things they can finish.
However, there's a growing movement that claims greater productivity may be gained by working fewer hours. Stanford University visiting scholar and Silicon Valley consultant Alex Soojung-Kim Pang said that decades of research show that the correlation between work hours and productivity is weak.
This means that working more hours does not necessarily lead to more productivity. Pang added that shorter workdays may be difficult to sell to managers and business owners but a few companies have found that their businesses grew and employee satisfaction increased after cutting work hours.
Pang, who is the founder of the Restful Company, also noted that influential thinkers in history such as Charles Darwin and Charles Dickens worked for only four to five hours each day. In the hours that they set aside for rest, they were investing in their creativity.
According to The Independent, some companies in Sweden have adopted the six-hour working day to increase productivity and employee satisfaction. Linus Feldt, CEO of Filimundus, an app developer based in the capital Stockholm, said that the new work day would make sure that people can still develop their private lives.
Business Insider noted that the Swedish government has found that people who worked only six hours a day were happier, less stressed and enjoyed their work more. However, it did come at a cost for the employers who had to hire additional people to cover the shifts since the study was conducted at a retirement home.