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Why working fewer hours creates better productivity

Medy Navani/Dubai
Filed on May 15, 2019
Why working fewer hours creates better productivity
Sweden reduced work hours so people can be more productive; as a bonus, they have more time for themselves.


As of a few years ago, Sweden implemented laws for the designated working day to be six hours, down from eight. Wonder why?

It's more productive. According to several studies conducted by Harvard University, it was concluded that those who work fewer hours would actually find greater benefits to business and health, and with those working more hours, it was considered one of the main causes for mental illness. Working fewer hours has proven to enhance employees' work-focus, time management and overall satisfaction, which leads to a fruitful and more profitable business.

With the holy month of Ramadan here, many have concerns about a drop in performance levels due to the day-long fast. Here we explain how your business will benefit from a shorter work day this Ramadan season.

Better work-life balance

A good work-life balance is absolutely essential when it comes to leading a happy and fulfilled life. With the reduction in hours, employees will have more time to spend with their families and friends, leading to a happier workforce, employee satisfaction, and therefore higher work productivity.

More clarity on timelines

You might actually think that working fewer hours would cause chaos in terms of project deadlines. However, fewer working hours actually trigger employees to set their agenda upon specific timelines, which allows them to utilise their working hours effectively and meet all their deadlines on time.

Bye-bye errors

Research has shown that working when we're overtired leads to errors. From a management and leadership perspective, working when exhausted leads to misreading physical cues, such as facial expressions and body movements and a mismanagement of our own emotional reactions, perhaps leading to unprofessional outbursts. That's why, especially during Ramadan when a high majority of employees are fasting the whole day, working fewer hours can prevent unnecessary mistakes, continued levels of professionalism, and quality work.

Feeling energised

It has been researched that being overly tired has the same side effects as someone who is intoxicated. With a shorter workday, it provides employees with more time to relax and unwind. By having more downtime, it ultimately means that your workforce has higher energy levels and therefore are more efficient at work.

Time to focus

With a shorter workday, it does not mean that there is less of a workload. What can be seen with an eight-hour work day is employees tend to decline in productivity and procrastination sets in the closer it gets to the end of the day. With fewer hours, however, employees learn to prioritise tasks and work more efficiently, meaning the hours worked are utilised.

The writer is founder and creative director of Design Haus Medy. Views expressed are his own and do not reflect the newspaper's policy.

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