The 6-Day Workweek: A Productivity Builder?

The New York Times: “At Gothenburg’s Sahlgrenska University Hospital … the orthopedics unit switched 89 nurses and doctors to a six-hour day. It hired 15 new staff members to make up for the lost time and extend operating room hours. At 1 million kroner (about $123,000) a month, the experiment was expensive … But since then, almost no one calls in sick, and nurses and doctors have been more efficient.”

“The unit is performing 20 percent more operations, generating additional business from treatments like hip replacements that would have gone to other hospitals. Surgery waiting times were cut to weeks from months, allowing patients to return to work faster and reducing sick leave elsewhere in the economy.”

Anders Hyltander, the hospital’s executive director, comments: “For years, we’ve been told that an eight-hour workday is optimal. But I think we should let ourselves challenge that view and say, ‘Yes that’s the way it is now, but if you want to increase productivity, be open to new ideas.’”


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