Posted: Jun 30 2016

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All around the world, the length of the full-time working week varies from as little as 6 hour days in Sweden to 12 and 14 hour days in the UK and the USA. Basic mathematics tells us that at least double the amount of work should get done in these time frames; however, the reality is that humans are not machines and longer working days are actually less productive to a business.

Business ventures are born and nurtured by an entrepreneur, but they are supported and raised by the staff that they employ. Keeping your staff happy and healthy is a vital cog in the success of any business - and understanding how to maintain this is part of what makes a business great as well as successful.

Benefits of a Shorter Working Day

You can make changes by cutting hours worked per day or cutting the working week by a day to make the work-life balance much more even.  According to NEF, there are numerous benefits to a shorter working week, including: reduced carbon footprint from less commuters, a more productive workforce, improved employee health and wellbeing, more affordable childcare options, more time with families, and an easy way for those looking to retire to reduce hours so that the transition is less traumatic.

Around the World

Trials of a shorter working day have been taking place in Sweden with a degree of success. Staff remain on full pay and have been more productive than on a traditional 8 hour working day. More than that, the work produced has been of higher quality, too.

While there are currently no plans to introduce shorter working weeks to the UK workforce, flexible working hours are available to many employees thanks to legislation brought in that allows staff to request flexible working hours.

Allowing your staff this level of flexibility breeds loyalty to your business, and has demonstrated that employees are happier, healthier and more productive when the restraints of the 9-5 life are removed to some degree.

Alternative Action

This level of flexibility may well work out for bigger business ventures that can take a hit in the short-term, this could have some detrimental effects to smaller ventures - but that doesn't mean that you can't get involved! You could have a shorter working day on a Friday or have an hour each week set aside for team building.

Given the results of shorter working days elsewhere, you can rest assured that setting aside an hour for team building or development will not negative impact your business; in fact, quite the opposite. Your team will be communicating easier and more fluidly, morale will be raised and your employees will feel appreciated and valued. Now that is something that you can't put a price on!

For more information on suitable team building activities for your business, please browse our site or contact us to discuss how we can help you buck the trend.

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