The five-hour work day: a real possibility?
The modern society brings new ways of thinking and new innovations in technology, concepts, and behaviour. As a result, the way we organise ourselves is becoming more dynamic and flexible – as is the way we live, study, and work!
Traditionally, firms have had an eight-hour workday, with employees working nine-to-five. With lunch breaks and at peak business times, this often stretches out to longer days and later end times.
However, the idea of a shorter working week or shorter working day is being to rise as a real possibility. Particularly for firms that are not reliant on set opening hours, shorter working days could be a way to increase productivity and worker satisfaction.
Countries like Sweden have already begun the move to shorter hours, with high-profile, widespread trials of 6-hour working days. Results showed that shorter working days resulted in higher productivity and less sick days. A boost in employee morale and happiness were also observed.
This raises serious questions about our structure of working days and whether it is the most beneficial to our productivity and health.
One Australian company that is testing out the modern five-hour workday is a Hobart-based financial firm. The firm has already implemented the reduced working hours, maintaining the same rate of pay and work.
The concept works like this: if the employees are able to finish all their tasks for the day in five hours, they are encouraged to leave work at that time. In this way, the five-hour work day becomes an incentive for employees to work faster and harder without causing the firm any losses.
More efficient working processes are implemented through more productive meetings and better platforms for communication.
Instead of spending more unnecessary time in meetings or going through every email, being mindful of time and utilising more efficient processes can make the five-hour workday a real possibility.