Brath, an SEO specialist startup, shifted to six hour days three years ago.
“The reason is that we actually care about our employees, we care enough to prioritize their time with the family, cooking or doing something else they love doing,” the company’s CEO Maria Bråth wrote last month in a blog post.
Toyota Services in Gothenburg switched to a six-hour workday 13 years ago and reported higher profits and happier staff. Swedish companies ranging from startups to retirement homes are experimenting with this trend in recent years.
Why the UK should adopt Sweden’s six-hour workday
Linus Feldt, chief executive of Filimundus, the Stockholm-based children’s app developer, told Fast Company that the eight-hour workday is “not as effective as one would think”.
Filimundus introduced a six-hour workday last year by reducing the number of staff meetings and asking employees not to spend office time on personal tasks such as social media. Feldt said this led to higher energy levels among employees, better teamwork and fewer workplace conflicts, as staffers were less fatigued and grumpy about being at work.
Elsewhere in Sweden, reduced work hours have been implemented for nurses in a care home, mechanics at a Toyota service centre, municipal employees in Gothenburg and a range of small businesses.