Sweden’s highly publicised move to a six hour working day is proof of how the way we work is changing. Burnouts, stress and inefficiencies are forcing us to think outside of the box and that’s a good thing.
The way we work has not metamorphosed enough yet. We need change because the current model does not make everyone happy. Women get unequal pay and are often forced to handle the bulk of the work load at home too. Men do not get enough time with their families either, and burnouts and high stress levels are common across the board.
Sweden has taken a look at the way we work and done some research on the topic. Their findings show that working hours above six per day are not really efficient and that work can get done without the need to fit in the traditional eight hours plus. It was Henry Ford who came up with the idea of eight hours, based on his study of productivity, but times have changed a lot since then and we need to re-think a little and see if this still applies.
If we can come up with something that works a bit better for everyone, we will all benefit. Parents will get to spend more time with their children and be around to guide them during the tricky teenage years. Mothers, less stretched trying to do the impossible will be more present and much more relaxed. The cumulative effect of this and it’s benefit to society are immeasurable.
Whilst a six hour work day remains a pipe dream for many, who knows? Perhaps the Swedish model will catch on and we will find ourselves a lot less frazzled than we have been. If the way we work can change, the way we live can too.