As Sweden introduces a shorter working week with proven health benefits, increased productivity, and profit, and statistics show UK workers are struggling to leave their 9-5 on time, with the majority of UK-based employees now working an extra day (8.73 hours) every week on top of their contracted hours, Pitman Training, has launched a free ‘need to know’ guide to reducing overtime in just one week in a bid to help the UK shave hours off their day.

With recent studies proving that working a shorter day may lead to a more productive workforce, the British overtime culture is being put under the spotlight. The UK has been taking steps toward addressing long work hours where last week businesses across the UK celebrated ‘National Work/Life Balance Week and made an effort to go home on time, but Pitman Training is calling for this to be the norm, not the exception, and is campaigning to help workers equip themselves with the skills they need to lead from inside companies, training for change.

They reveal that by increasing typing speeds by just 10 wpm, we could all save ourselves a whole working day per week**, giving us all more chance of getting home on time. Releasing a ‘7 days to a more productive you’ infographic they have also given away Microsoft hacks to help time save and make recommendations about streamlining working.

Pitman Training Group MD, Claire Lister said: “Pitman Training stands at the forefront of evolving workplaces, promoting improvements in employee training standards and increasing productivity at work. The key to efficiency and a reduction of hours in the working day is to ensure that employees are trained in a variety of skills to ensure they’re working quickly and effectively. The Swedish model is an ideology which we are not yet equipped to deal with in the UK but we can make smaller changes that can still have a big impact”.

Throughout October all Pitman Training centres are inviting people to come into their centre for free skills assessments, in a bid to help shave off overtime requirements and improve their work life balance.

Pitman Training Group MD, Claire Lister added: “It is glum reading that Brits work 66 million overtime hours each week, as it proves that overtime has become the norm. This is dangerous as it means we are dragging our days out, filling our working hours with ‘stuff’ that is getting in the way of our to do lists and resulting in our home life and even health being affected. It may be that emails have taken over our day and we waste time responding in a way that is not the most effective, it might be meetings stealing our time, or it might be lack of skills that are slowing us down, trying to do tasks we are not equipped for as job roles expand yet training is not provided. But the message is clear – this needs to stop – and we need to find a way to try and contain more of our work in work hours otherwise we will face a nation of burnt out employees.”

“We need to take action, and educate both employees and the companies they work for in the benefits of an engaged, motivated and healthy workforce. We have entered the .com era, taking companies such as Netflix and Facebook as an example, where year upon year their staff ethos, and work-life balance are being highlighted as a model for the world. This is no longer something that is unachievable, but having the right approach to making this work in your business is key. It is always going to be a two way street, but one which can be balanced for both the employer and employee and I’m passionate helping change outlooks on more balanced working life.”