Is the secret way to increase productivity a 6 hour work day?
“The average person puts only 25% of his energy and ability into his work.” – Andrew Carnegie
Is there anything more maddening than sitting in traffic – inching down the street in the middle of a construction zone? The inconvenience of not being able to get to where you want to go in a timely manner is frustrating enough.
Then, while sitting in your idling car, you notice the work… Or more accurately, the lack of work going on.
Increase productivity with the right leadership and a little ingenuity…
Usually in these situations, one person is digging a trench or driving a piece of machinery, while at least a half a dozen others stand around and watch. And somehow, all of these people are getting paid!
Don’t get me wrong, construction is difficult and necessary work, but something tells me there must be a more efficient way of doing things. Of course, this is the truth not just in construction. The same holds true for any profession.
Must people get paid for standing around chatting at the water cooler, or for tooling around on Facebook, or whatever else they do to pass the hours until closing time?
Or could better scheduling, proper priorities, and a little bit of common sense make a difference?
Could we start to work smarter and not harder to increase productivity?
And could we begin to find a greater sense of work-life balance in our lives?
People in some parts of the world have been experimenting with shorter workdays in an attempt to increase productivity.
For example, in Sweden, nurses at Svartedalens elderly care home in Gothenburg have been experimenting with a 6 hour workday rather than the traditional 8 hour day.
According to an article from Today.com, the findings (paraphrased) were as follows:
‘The company found that a shorter workweek has led to happier and more well-rested employees, with benefits rippling throughout the workplace, including better care and attention for the patients.
Tasks are completed more efficiently — and are of higher quality — which makes for more satisfied customers. In turn, they spread the word about the company. Other Swedish establishments have been following suit, reaping many of the same benefits.’
To increase productivity, many companies have begun taking major steps to allow employees to strike a better work-life balance.
They are relying on the fact that happy workers make more productive workers.
Here is a list of Forbes Best 25 Companies For Better Work-Life Balance.
Global icon Richard Branson knows full well that happy workers make good workers, and he even goes so far as to say that employees’ interests come before that of customers and shareholders in his companies.
“If the person who works at your company is not given the right tools, is not looked after, is not appreciated, they are not going to do things with a smile and therefore the customer will be treated in a way where often they won’t want to come back for more.”
In essence, by taking care of the employees Branson knows that the employees will, in turn, take pride in their work, thus making the experience better for consumers, and more profitable for the shareholders.
Flexible hours, unlimited vacation, and extended parental leave are a few of the benefits offered to some employees at Branson’s companies.
Is America ready for the 6 hour workday? Considering that the average workday in the US is now at around 9.5 hours per day, it is likely that we are not there yet.
But we might be at least heading that direction. In a new study by Fidelity Investments, they report that most millennial professionals would be willing to take, on average, a $7,600 pay cut for a better quality of work life.
The bottom line is that productivity should be the measure by which employees, or businesses for that matter, should be judged; they certainly shouldn’t be judged simply by the amount of time put forth.
As we have all seen, there are plenty of people dragging through their day, not accomplishing much of anything and taking forever to do it.
The person who gets tasks done properly and efficiently is a much more valuable piece to any business that the person who is standing around watching. Should someone be penalized because they got done in one hour what takes someone else two?
Learn to increase efficiency and improve productivity so you can work smarter and not harder. Several things can be done to accomplish this.
- Use meditation to increase focus and clarity will make your work more effective.
- Learn how to properly schedule and budget your time, you can be on time and on task.
- Train yourself to streamline your communications so you don’t spend hours reading and sending emails, when a 5 minute phone call could suffice.
Whatever it is, technology has improved productivity to a point, the rest is up to us.
6 hour workday? Doesn’t sound half bad! Who is with Me?