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With what appears to be weekly updates from Scandinavian countries on how their working day is evolving I can’t help but feel a pinch of envy at the casual gloating of our European counterparts.
The latest in depressing British news stories is the move by our blonde haired brothers in Gothenburg who have taken to introducing 6 hour working days. This comes from 13 years of hard-working 6 hour days from the teams at Toyota service centres. Their approach, to no-one's surprise, has led to happier staff, a lower staff turnover and of course ease of luring in new employees. All logical and very straight forward. What I did have to read twice is the 25% rise in profit the company had experienced, that is certainly something I didn’t think I would see.
The classic DO MORE philosophy in the result driven recruitment market certainly doesn’t match to this and no doubt if I had mentioned it to my teachers at school I would have received puzzled looks. So as delightful as this concept of less work gives more results; upon reading it my cynical side had certainly kicked in. Flitting through similar articles trying to find how this worked, the logic put in front of me at each occasion was that a shorter day makes staff happier and well rested, leaving them set for a hard working motivated 6 hours in the office.
Having delved into the idea of the ‘easy life’ and how green the grass was, I did a little thinking. Now before I make this statement I am inviting opinions with what is certainly a sweeping statement, so do take it with a pinch of salt. But surely the key to this scenario is making staff feel positive and enthused to be motivated and efficient during the day resulting in staff making the most of every working hour. I can assure anyone and I am sure a lot of people would agree, but performance in recruitment is certainly time dependent and a 6-hour day definitely wouldn’t cut it! So why do we Brits love a solid working day? It would be great to hear your opinions and do we really think it is possible or am I just being too cynical?
By Nick Ross – Senior Consultant at Meet