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Could the 6-hour work day succeed In Europe?

With new notions of quiet quitting and hybrid working, the old ideas of living to work and being chronically busy now seem outdated
Could the 6-hour work day succeed In Europe?

With new notions of quiet quitting and hybrid working, the old ideas of living to work and being chronically busy now seem outdated as the pandemic ushered in a new era of achieving work-life balance through a variety of means. 

While you might be content to work remotely half the week, many employers are contemplating taking this idea of work-life balance one step further by revolutionising the five-day, 40-hour week as we currently know it. 

With the feasibility of a four-day work week on a global scale gaining traction—in Iceland, all public sector workers have participated in a pilot scheme, while several companies and corporations across the UK and Ireland are taking part in the official Four Day Week global project—the concept of a six-hour workday could arguably work just as efficiently.  

Happier And Healthier 

In 2015, Swedish business leaders started experimenting with a six-hour workday among nurses employed at a nursing home. Their reduced working hours came with no reduction in pay to test if shorter work days could be as, if not more, productive as the traditional eight-hour work day. 

The result? Those who worked a six-hour shift were 84% more productive than those who worked the full eight hours. The six-hour employees took fewer sick days (a 10% reduction) and reported feeling happier (20%) and healthier (50%). 

In 2012, Toyota’s plant based in Gothenburg followed suit and since then has reported similar findings—happier employees, higher staff retention, and crucially, increased profits. 

While these moves might have seemed ground-breaking at the time, in the post-pandemic world, more and more workers are seeking out roles that offer greater flexibility around work location and working hours.

In a recent survey of 2,000 full-time office employees conducted by Paymentsense, unlimited holidays and early finish Fridays were the most popular benefits. And while 37% shared that they already have flexible hours, only 1% had unlimited holidays and 14% were afforded early finish Fridays. In fact, time off is at such a premium that 5% shared that they would be willing to take an 11-15% pay cut if they could take off as much time as they needed. 

A New Era

So should employers be taking note of this and adjusting the traditional working day accordingly? According to a study by Future Forum, 70% of those who are dissatisfied with the level of flexibility their job affords are looking for a new opportunity in 2023 and those with rigid work schedules are three times more likely to look for a new job, up from 2.6 times in February. The research also found that while 80% want flexibility in where they work, 94% want flexibility in when they work. This was particularly prevalent among working parents. 

In the meantime, if you’re looking for an opportunity to reduce your working week or want to explore roles that offer increased flexibility, the Tech EU Job Board is filled with remote and flexible roles around Europe like the three below. 

UX Writing Manager,, Brussels is looking for a UX Writing Manager, based out of Amsterdam or Manchester, to manage a team of writers across various levels of experience and expertise. The successful candidate will ensure the development of individuals within the organisation and mentor and coach individual writers to improve craft, deliverables, communication, and career advancement. You’ll also be a subject matter expert in UX writing, copy and translation systems and tooling, as well as their product area or business topic. Requirements include a Bachelor’s degree along with five to eight years of directly applicable contributor experience along with one to three years of successfully managing and/or mentoring UX writers. Apply now

Organisational Development Specialist (m/f/d), Flink, Berlin

Working closely with senior stakeholders, the Organisational Development Specialist (m/f/d) will be tasked with designing, implementing, and supporting Flink’s global learning and development strategy to address individuals, teams, and learning needs. You’ll preferably have experience in a learning and development role, ideally with a background in start-ups, consulting, and fast-paced environments, and have strong analytical skills plus German and English language skills at a business level. See the full job spec here

SaaS Account Executive, DealRoom, Remote

Financial software company DealRoom is looking for an enterprising SaaS Account Executive experienced in managing and closing B2B SaaS sales. You’ll be responsible for managing a full sales cycle, building new customer pipelines, cultivating relationships based on providing value to prospects and negotiating and closing new business. You’ll also work with prospective customers as a trusted advisor to deeply understand unique company challenges and goals, keep abreast of the financial services industry and be proficient with Google suite, Slack, and Hubspot. Find out more here

For more exciting opportunities in tech, visit the Tech EU Job Board today.

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