A Six-Hour Workday Might Offend You. Maybe it Shouldn’t

Khari Johnson
Oct 7, 2015 · 1 min read

It may be ingrained in American culture to work long hours but some Swedish companies are voluntarily switching to six-hour workdays. Benefits they list include more focus during work hours, productivity on par with eight-hour days, and the ability to retain talent. You might roll your eyes at another Scandimania story.

This also butts up against some hard realities. When you’re trying to achieve rapid growth and you are passionately building something to get 10x ahead of the competition, this seems out of reach, but consider this: Several countries work fewer hours than the average American (around nine per day) but manage to generate more value per hour.

This is a big issue for companies, whose ability to prosper is ruled by worker productivity, and employees, who list long or inflexible hours as two of the top five reasons they would leave a job. A six-hour workday isn’t the solution for every company or employee, but flexibility and an understanding that long hours have diminishing returns appear to be critical when building the modern team.

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Khari Johnson

Written by

Journalist, nerd, builder of things. I write about artificial intelligence for VentureBeat.

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