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Dublin: 1°C Sunday 24 January 2021
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Move to Sweden, work 6 hours a day

Municipal staff in Gothenburg will act as guinea pigs for the trial.

Image: Punch Card via Shutterstock

IN A BID to make municipal workers more efficient, the local govrnment of the Swedish city of Gothenburg has come up with a novel approach – make staff work less.

The city hopes that moving to a six-hour work day will cut down on sick leave, boost efficiency and ultimately save money.

The deputy mayor of Gothenburg, Mats Pilhem, told TheLocal.se that they hoped to compare two groups in the council – one working shorter hours and one working regular hours.

“We’ll compare the two afterwards and see how they differ. We hope to get the staff members taking fewer sick days and feeling better mentally and physically after they’ve worked shorter days,” he said.

He said a local factory had trialled the shorter working hours and that the results showed an increase in productivity.

According to this data, compiled by The Economist and the OECD, countries with shorter working days have average or above average GDPs.

OECD Source: The Economist

The opposition in Gothenburg, however, feel that the move is little more than electioneering and “populist”.

Pilhem disagrees, saying that his party has always been in favour of the scheme.

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