Swedish Workers Adopt a Six-hour Workday, Everybody is Happy

A group of nurses decided to cut back their hours and add on to their lives.

Image via Wikimedia

For most Americans, eight-hour workdays are a distant luxury, not a daily reality. The average American works 47 hours per week, far from what labor advocates over one hundred years ago imagined would be the norm. But in Sweden (of course in Sweden) a group of nurses at a retirement home decided that would try something radically different: institute a six-hour workday, hoping to inspire increased productivity—and get this—greater quality of life.


Were they successful? By and large, yes. According to The Guardian, workers experienced higher satisfaction at the job, leading to reduced turnover and fewer sick days. Some nurses, including Lise-Lotte Pettersson, believe that reduced hours actually inspired improved patient outcomes: “I used to be exhausted all the time, I would come home from work and pass out on the sofa. But not now. I am much more alert: I have much more energy for my work … You cannot allow elderly people [her clients] to become stressed, otherwise it turns into a bad day for everyone.” Still, in order to reduce people’s shifts, administrators had to hire more staff (and add more jobs)—making the financial consequences, and externalities, unclear.

Sweden’s experiment isn’t just grounded in “Swedenness” but real economic thought. Research has consistently shown that longer working hours translates into declines in productivity, and by extension, GDP. Economists like John Hicks argue that: “Probably it has never entered the heads of most employers … that hours could be shortened and output maintained.”

Image via Wikimedia

Is the six-hour workday coming to America? Probably not anytime soon, especially with modern Republican candidates like John Kasich trying to destroy any and all workplace benefits, among them the notoriously palatial “public school teacher’s lounge.” Still, Sweden’s experiment pushes the conversation exactly in the direction it needs to be headed.

(Via: The Guardian)

Articles

We've all felt lonely at some point in our lives. It's a human experience as universal as happiness, sadness or even hunger. But there's been a growing trend of studies and other evidence suggesting that Americans, and people in general, are feeling more lonely than ever.

It's easy to blame technology and the way our increasingly online lives have further isolated us from "real" human interactions. The Internet once held seemingly limitless promise for bringing us together but seems to be doing just the opposite.

Except that's apparently not true at all. A major study from Cigna on loneliness found that feelings of isolation and loneliness are on the rise amongst Americans but the numbers are nearly identical amongst those who use social media and those who don't. Perhaps more importantly, the study found five common traits amongst those who don't feel lonely.

Keep Reading Show less
Health

He photographed Nazi atrocities and buried the negatives. The unearthed images are unforgettable.

He risked his life to leave a "historical record of our martyrdom."

via Yad Vashem and Archive of Modern Conflict, 2007

In September 1939, the Nazis invaded Poland. By April 1940, the gates closed on the Lodz Ghetto, the second largest in the country after Warsaw.

Throughout the war, over 210,000 people would be imprisoned in Lodz.

Among those held captive was Henryk Ross. He was a Jewish sports photographer before the Nazi invasion and worked for the the ghetto's Department of Statistics during the war. As part of his official job, he took identification photos of the prisoners and propaganda shots of Lodz' textile and leather factories.

Keep Reading Show less
Communities
WITI Milwaukee

Joey Grundl, a pizza delivery driver for a Domino's Pizza in Waldo, Wisconsin, is being hailed as a hero for noticing a kidnapped woman's subtle cry for help.

The delivery man was sent to a woman's house to deliver a pie when her ex-boyfriend, Dean Hoffman, opened the door. Grundl looked over his shoulder and saw a middle-aged woman with a black eye standing behind Hoffman. She appeared to be mouthing the words: "Call the police."

"I gave him his pizza and then I noticed behind him was his girlfriend," Grundl told WITI Milwaukee. "She pointed to a black eye that was quite visible. She mouthed the words, 'Call the police.'"

Keep Reading Show less
Good News


Rochester NY Airport Security passing insulting notes to travelers caught on tape www.youtube.com

Neil Strassner was just passing through airport security, something he does on a weekly basis as part of his job. That's when a contract airport security employee handed him a small piece of folded cardboard. Strassner, 40, took the paper and continued on his way. He only paused when he heard the security employee shouting back at him, "You going to open the note?"

When he unfolded the small piece of paper, Strassner was greeted with an unprompted insult. "You ugly!!!"

According to Strassner, and in newly released CCTV of the incident, the woman who handed him the note began laughing loudly.

Keep Reading Show less
popular

Facebook: kktv11news

A post on the Murdered by Words subreddit is going viral for the perfect way a poster shut down a knee-jerk "double-standard!" claim.

It began when a Redditor posted a 2015 Buzzfeed article story about a single dad who took cosmetology lessons to learn how to do his daughter's hair.

Most people would see the story as something positive. A dad goes out of his way to learn a skill that makes his daughter look fabulous.

Keep Reading Show less
Lifestyle