A recent study was undertaken in Sweden with a reduction in working hours to see if this could really impact happiness, with 6 hours as the target aim. Based over a 2 year period, the employees at a municipal retirement home in Gothenburg worked just 6 hours instead of 8, with no cuts in salary.  The employees reported they were more alert, less stressed and generally ‘better’.

Meanwhile in the Netherlands, the Dutch work an average of 29 hours a week, one of the lowest hours around, with stats showing a huge 86% of employed mothers worked 34 hours or less each week last year, with 12% of fathers also working a shortened workweek.

The stats keep coming. Denmark? An average 33 hours a week and have a right to 5 weeks holiday every year. Norway? 33 hours. Switzerland? 35 hours.

The UK? 35-48hours a week, on average, depending on what stats you believe (data can be skewed any way you like, but it may not be true we work the longest hours in the EU.)

Whilst we experiment with working hours on a small scale, business should ask ‘do we need to plug people into the grid for this long to get results?’

251,590 people are in digital employment across Inner London alone – according to tech city, and over the next ten years there are expected to be 46,000 more digital jobs in London alone, according to research by Oxford Economics. Of course, some jobs are essential to be ‘open all hours’. But what about jobs like design, HR, marketing, tech?

Does it make sense to work the same 8 -9 hours, day in day out?

So why aren’t we all making the switch to reduced hours, or dramatic changes in our workplace environments? Leave a comment below and tell us your views on working hours and what the future might be or find us on Twitter – @incentivehub