Sweden’s Six-Hour Work Day (The Atlantic)

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The Swedish city of Gothenburg just proposed a year-long experiment to test how six-hour work days influence a worker’s productivity. The Gothenburg city government will place some municipal workers into a test group, working six hours a day, and a control group working the traditional eight hours.

Based on the Kellogg six-hour shift work experiment, which demonstrated that employees work more productively when given a shorter work day, Gothenburg will continue to pay both groups of employees at the same rate.


  1. Eric weis says:

    Just give them Red Bull and coffee breaks. Then a four hour day might work.

    I regard this subject as idiotic. The concept of 8 hour workday bears little relevance to a world in which web access and smart phones then the entire day into one of constant access to responsibility. I believe the 8 hour day is a relic of the industrial revolution. Ask any farmer, nomad or cave dweller if work starts and stops at regular hours.

    So in a sense we are now returning to truly historical work habits. Sweden meanwhile is merely giving its people an excuse to hit the bar two hours earlier. Except will there be bartenders or are they too going to a shorter work night?

    I’m just sayin’

  2. workn4alivin says:

    This is idiotic if studies show similar produtivity for 75% of the time, and the report is used by governments to restrict how employees may interact with employers.

    What I have learned over the years is that, generally speaking, paople are paid what they’re worth. Companies that recognize different work:time abilities or other productivity nuances with their employees will gain an advantage. We do a lot of flex time in our company which enhances our retention and keeps our labor costs in line with actual work. Both good.

    I worry about politicians getting their hands on a report of government worker behavior and trying to get everyone to the bars 2 hours earlier, as Eric observes above.

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