I read an article in the New Zealand Herald very recently which suggests that if you fancy a six hour work day, Sweden is the place for you. The reasoning behind the country’s decision to cut the working hours is simply that they removed wasted time from scheduled office hours. The article further suggests that many of us waste this amount of time on Facebook and Twitter. I want to add checking personal e-mails and simply just chattering at the office to the list.

Although our average working day in New Zealand still consists of 8 hours, I for one can understand the reasoning behind culling working hours. If people could be more productive during the hours that they work, it is a win-win situation. More work will be done in less time. Employers will see better results. Employees will be happier and contribute more efficiently.

Kiwis have long since bemoaned the dreaded health risks that are associated with working long hours. This way we will all become healthier and happier. Many businesses in the private sector (in Sweden) have already reaped the rewards of implementing this system. If you throw into the mix a more flexible arrangement with reference to starting and finishing times for the six hour day, we could be on the brink of solving the traffic problem too.

Another article in the New Zealand Herald suggests that we are all sleep-deprived. Perhaps looking at better working options and flexibility could make us happier, which in turn will make our employers happier. We do seem to spend an awful amount of time traveling to and from work at times when everyone else is doing the same thing. This has never really made sense to me. I work from home in the mornings for a few hours before traveling to the office. I find that I am much more productive and focused when I work from home. I also arrive at the office in a relaxed state. I firstly do not have to fight my way through traffic and I am able to deal with the most important tasks first thing and without interruption when I am still fresh and well rested.

More employers should see the benefits in offering employees flexible options. If you don’t want to lose the good people you have to sweeten the deal. Just a thought…..