Most of us believe the more we work the more tasks we will fulfill, however this is only wishful illusion for many people. According to recent studies, it was revealed that people can only do 4 or 5 hours of real productive work per day. As a matter of fact, this was confirmed by numerous experiments performed by K. Anders Ericsson, one of the best experts in the field of psychology. He states that after that certain period of time when the working performance raises its highest peak, the concentration falls down and consequently the working output thus making people suffer at work.
This renowned expert state:
“If you’re pushing people well beyond the time they can really concentrate maximally, you’re very likely to get them to acquire some bad habits. What’s worse, those bad habits could end up spilling into the time people are normally productive.”
So working hours of 50, 60, 70 hours per week does not necessarily mean productive work and efficient results. Namely, managers who shortened the work week obtained substantial returns on their investment in terms of output, worker retention, and great satisfaction personally and professionally in both employees and companies.
In 2006, the CEO of Treehouse, Ryan Carson, incorporated a 32-hour work week which resulted in more productive and satisfied employees. Carson states that the company is very successful and productive nowadays, its yearly revenue is estimated in millions of dollars, and employees are eager to come to work every day.
This is not the only example which implemented these working hours. Likewise, Reusser Design, a full-scale web development company, incorporated a four-day work week in 2013. This is what the company founder Nate Reusser states regarding this matter, quoting:
“Even if employees work overtime on Fridays, their performance is much higher. You have no idea how people hustle to finish projects before they go on vacation.”
This type of experiment was also implemented in schools. Namely, a 5 day school week was switched to a 4 day school week in the fourth and fifth graders in Colorado. The results were: the reading and math results of students who studied for just four days a week went up by 6% and 12% contrary to the children who attended standard five day school week.
Ericsson claims, quoting:“I think the idea that children will be fully concentrating during all their classes is unreasonable.” This is particularly true for kids who experience concentration and focus issues.
The findings of this research reveal that a simple redistribution of work time can offer great benefits for both employees and companies.
Ex Utah Governor Jon Huntsman, in 2008, in the middle of America’s financial crisis, initiated a plan for complete reorganization of the work week. Almost 75% of the state employees turned to 4-day week with 10 working hours a day. The results were: lower heating and cooling costs, less powering in the buildings, and as well as an elevated workers’ morale. Employees liked the extra day off and were very much satisfied with this change as they avoided the tiresome rush-hour traffic.
This is only an additional proof of how reduced working week can be beneficial both for employees and companies.
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