New York - In February, after almost two years’ worth of six-hour workdays, nurses at the Svartedalens elderly care facility in Gothenburg, Sweden went back to eight hour shifts - despite recently published research showing the benefits of the shortened workdays.
The City of Gothenburg didn’t extend the experiment in part because funding ran out. It cost about 12 million krona (R17.37m) to hire the 17 extra staff members needed to fill the gaps created by shorter work hours. The city had only budgeted for two years, and legislators said it would be too expensive to implement the project across the entire municipality.
So, for now, the project has come to an end. Yet, there are longer term savings the study didn’t take into account. Working shorter hours resulted in healthier workers, researcher Bengt Lorentzon found in a new paper. “They were less tired, less sick, had more energy coming home and more time to do activities,” said Lorentzon.