Public in favour of seven-hour working day

Milan DinicResearch Manager
October 07, 2015, 3:18 PM UTC

The working day length chosen by the largest group of people is 7 hours, with a six-hour working day coming as second favourite. Only one in ten people say the working day should be its current length of eight hours

Sweden is shifting to a six-hour work day in order to improve staff morale and efficiency. The 40 hour work week for a full-time employee has been trimmed to 30 hours at some Swedish firms and both the public and private sectors in the country have experimented with this in recent years. Studies have shown that employees working six hour shifts are more focused, procrastinate less and are happier at work.

A new First Verdict poll finds that the largest group of people are in favour of a seven-hour work day. Just over a quarter think a six-hour work day is best. The poll shows people, on average, would like to work between six and eight hours. Options suggesting more/less than 6-8 hours have support of less than one in ten. Men are more in favour of longer working days than women, the poll shows.

One panellist pointed out an interesting fact when considering working time - most working people spend around two hours per day commuting on top of their working hours. “This is stressful as well as being a complete waste of time”, argues this user.

Toyota Services in Gothenburg, the second-largest city in Sweden, switched to a six-hour workday 13 years ago and reported higher profits and happier staff. In April 2014 the Gothenburg government started an experiment with nurses working shorter shifts. Full results will be out by the end of 2016, but so far nurses are less stressed and more efficient. Statistics from 2014 show that on average people in the UK spend 40.8 hours a week at work. The president of the UK Faculty of Public Health even suggested the UK needs a four-day working week to properly combat stress.