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Six hour work day gets off to ‘great' start

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Six hour work day gets off to ‘great' start
The experiment is taking place at an elderly care home. Photo: Image Bank Sweden
08:19 CET+01:00
Staff at a retirement home in west Sweden have completed their first six hour day, as part of a trial that could be replicated elsewhere in the country.

The long-debated experiment in Hisingen is designed to cut down on sick leave boost efficiency, and ultimately save Sweden money.

Carers at the home are now working for six hours a day instead of eight, without taking a pay cut.

Fourteen additional workers have been hired to ensure the home remains fully staffed at all times.

“It feels great,” one new assistant nurse, Jennie Anttila, told Swedish broadcaster SVT on Monday.

She said she hoped that the new strategy would help her colleagues avoid taking sick days, adding that it was “nice to keep a full time salary”.

“After working full time for many years, it feels like with these extra hours off…you'll get a little more time for yourself and get some more family time.”

Ann-Charlotte Dahlbom Larsson, who manages the retirement home, told SVT:

“I feel that employees have more time, which generates more energy when you're…and means that the residents get even better quality care - a win-win situation.”

Psychologists are set to monitor the effects of the project on both staff and residents at the home.

The experiment is scheduled to run until 2016, adder which there will be an evaluation and the municipality will decide whether or not to extend the scheme.

Various parts of Sweden have tried out shorter working hours before, but the concept has yet to take off. 

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