Full text: 40 Jahre 40-Stunden-Woche in Österreich. Und jetzt? (18)

85 workday. In comparison with the initial survey, before the six-hour workday was introduced, the employees state that they are happier, have more energy and are more active. The results also indicate a drop in sick leaves, improved continuity and less stressed employees. Over the same period of time, the average sick leave in the city of Gothenburg increased. The elderly feel they receive better care and get more time with the employees. It is surprising to see such positive results after such a short period of time. When the trial will be completed at the end of 2016, we are looking forward to a more substantial report and analysis of the effects of the six-hour workday on the employees, the elderly, and the care they receive. 4 SIMILAR TRIALS IN SWEDEN Gothenburg’s 6-hour workday trial is the first in a decade conducted in Sweden. In total, there have been 12 attempts. Previous attempts mostly focused on health issues. This trial also focuses on quality issues. Another difference is that we now have access to better information systems for HR and finance. The first reform was launched in Kiruna in 1989 and lasted for 16 years. It was a permanent reform for the employees of geriatric home care, but it ended due to a change in the local government. Since a majority of employees in Kiruna worked part-time in 1989, the diffe rence resulted in a significant pay rise. The Kiruna reform was not designed as a study and it is therefore hard to evaluate. The most famous private sector example in Sweden is Toyota, which implemented a 6-hour workday in 2002. A two-shift workday was introduced, from 6 to 12 am and from 12 to 6 pm. The main goal was to increase opening hours and thus productivity. Other positive outcomes were an improvement of the status of mechanic work as well as making it easier to recruit la- bour. Another private sector example is the company Brath, which introduced a 6-hour workday three years ago to attract better staff and to reduce fluctuation. Its management believes that sustained productivity and creativity is impossible over eight hours, and that six hours is more reasonable. The company has 20 employees and a healthy profit and growth, close to dou- bling its revenue each year. Brath is amongst the fastest-growing SEO companies in Sweden. Since 2014, employees at the app-developing company Filimundus only work six hours a day. The CEO, who initiated the reform, believes it is a strong motivational factor to be able to go home two hours earlier. The company also reduced the number of meetings and employees are encouraged not to use social media. Filimundus experiences increased efficiency as well as happier employees. The CEO also considers the trademark to be boosted thanks to the shift in working hours. In 2015, public health care in the region of Västra Götaland decided to switch to a 32-hour working week in the orthopaedic unit of the Sahlgrenska hospital in Mölndal. The project will run for two years, its main goal is to increase the number of surgeries conducted. So far, the surgery queue has decreased dramatically, as 90 additional surgeries are performed each month. Contrary to the 6-hour workday trial at Svartedalen, which was politically initiated, this project was initiated by the management following up on a proposal from the nurses.

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