Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Six-hour work policy abandoned in Sweden

The previous year, I mentioned an attempt of reduced work hour in Sweden. In some hospitals and nursing home, workers were to work for six hours in a day, instead of eight hours. In this entry, I suspected that this policy would raise the satisfaction of employees, but it was not feasible for some jobs.

My past entry: Reduced working time in Sweden

At last, this challenge was terminated, unfortunately. Because of increased cost not matching the benefits, Gothenburg City abandoned the plan to make the six-hour policy permanent.

It was true that reduced work hours improved not only the satisfactory level but also the productivity of the employee. However, the facilities had to hire more workers to compensate the reduced working time, not surprisingly.

Independent: Sweden scraps six hours work day despite staff being 'healthier, happier and more productive'

Since increased cost of this new policy was easily prospected, I am doubtful to the decision of scrapping this plan due to poor cost-benefit. The attempt brought reduced sick leave cases by ten percents. It could not compensate the increase of hiring costs. On the other hand, it is uncertain how the quality of life of the employees was calculated to evaluate the effectiveness of the reduced hour policy.

Nonetheless, Swedish campaign showed a good example of a social experiment. It is admirable for a city to make this kind of challenge for seeking a better figure of the society.

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