Working Less Can Lead To Higher Productivity: Study

First Posted: Nov 07, 2016 03:58 AM EST

It is common to think that working for long hours will result in more accomplished tasks. However, a recent study suggests otherwise. Its findings show that working less can actually lead to higher productivity.

According to CNN, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development researchers examined working hours in different countries in a span of 22 years. They found that there is higher productivity when employees are working less hours compared with following the tradition of working, which is at least eight hours a day.

Moreover, experts say working overtime has links to higher rates of illness, injury, smoking, alcohol use, and even mortality. One study has shown that working for long hours can lead to a 40 percent higher rates of coronary heart disease compared with those who work standard hours. For this, experts likewise say that reducing working hours could make a big difference to one's health and well-being.

Meanwhile, Independent reported about Sweden moving to a six-hour working day with the aim of having higher productivity. Another goal is to make employees feel happier. Reports say employers in the country have made the change, aiming people to have more energy to enjoy their private lives.

In a 22-month trial led by Pacta Guideline, 68 nurses worked six-hour shifts in the Svartedalen elderly care home in Gothenburg. Researchers monitored these nurses' health and productivity, and compared it with those working in the same facitility for 38 hours a week. According to Bengt Lorentzon, a researcher of the project, the nurses in trial were healthier. Likewise, they were more alert and calmer. 18 months after working six-hour days, 77 percent of nurses were in good health compared with 49 percent of nurses in the control group. Additionally, those belonging to the trial group had three times fewer sick days.

Indeed, working less may lead to higher productivity and its benefits are undeniable. However, there are still questions whether the idea would make financial sense.

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