Poll shows support for six-hour working day in Scotland

Scotland could see the introduction of a six-hour working day if the results of a new study are anything to go by.
Although the eight-hour working day has been entrenched in British culture since the days of the Industrial Revolution when Robert Owen campaigned for “Eight hours labour, eight hours recreation, eight hours rest,” that could all be about to change, according to a new survey which suggests there is strong support from both workers and bosses for a Swedish-style six-hour day.
The study – commissioned by Crown Workplace Relocations (CWR) – polled both employees and bosses and found that three-quarters of office workers (75 per cent) said they were in favour of the six-hour working day. This figure rose to 78 per cent in London.
Three out of five bosses (60 per cent) also said they would consider introducing a six-hour working day in their business – rising to three-quarters in the capital and 88 per cent in Glasgow. The figure for those working in HR was 100%.
Since Sweden started trialling a six-hour working day, British employees and employers have been toying with the idea. Now, according CWR, the concept really might have legs.
What employees say:
  • Half of office workers said they would do just as much work in six hoursas they can in eight – rising to 62 per cent amongst 45-54 year olds
  • Over a third said it would improve their wellbeing
  • 28% said it would improve relationships with family
  • 27% said it would make them more creative
  • 16% said they would take fewer sick days, rising to one quarter for those in Edinburgh
  • Only 12% thought they would be less productive
And what the bosses say:
  • Two out of five think staff would be just as productive in six hours as they are in eight, rising to three-quarters in the legal sector
  • Two out of five agree it would improve the wellbeing of staff
  • A third said it would improve relationships with family
  • One third believed staff would take fewer sick days
  • 29% thought it would make staff more creative
  • Only one in five feared staff would be less productive
Barry Koolen, regional managing director at CWR said: “The introduction of a six-hour working day has already been implemented by some employers in Britain with many reporting positive results – improved employee focus and productivity. Historically the British eight-hour working day was created to encourage a work-life balance and these findings suggest we may soon see a new cultural shift towards a six-hour working day.”

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