In an attempt to drive up productivity among its workers the Swedish government is looking at a very interesting experiment. Government staff in the Swedish city of Gothenburg are participating in this yearlong experiment starting the 1st of July.
The workers are divided in two groups; one group works the usual eight hours and the other group scales back to six hours, all on full pay. The government anticipates that shorter days will translate into higher productivity per hour and fewer sick days since the staff will feel physically and mentally better.
Senior government officials believe that this scaling back will increase work efficiency since longer working hours entail frequent breaks and greater productivity loss. Opinions regarding this step are quite divided. Some agree that productivity declines as work hour’s increase, but, reduced work hours, if not monitored proactively, can lead to greater loss of productivity. It remains to be seen how this experiment is going to pan out. Will the people working six hours manage to get their work done productively? Will the group working eight hours get more done since they will have the flexibility to ease into their day? It would be prudent to make use of technology to measure productivity between the two groups and ensure that time spent at work is put to constructive use to drive up employee productivity. At the end of the day all that really matters is getting the work done!