Give us a six-hour day like Sweden say British workers


The eight-hour working day has been entrenched in British culture since the days of the Industrial Revolution when Robert Owen campaigned for “Eight hours labour, eight hours recreation, eight hours rest”.

That might all be about to change however as the results of a new poll show major support amongst both workers AND bosses for a Swedish style six-hour day!

The survey, commissioned by Crown Workplace Relocations, polled both employees and bosses and found that three-quarters of office workers said they were in favour of the six-hour working day. This figure rose to 78 per cent in London.

What’s more, three out of five bosses also say they would consider introducing a six-hour working day in their business – rising to three-quarters in the capital and 88 per cent in Glasgow. Tellingly, the figure for those working in HR was an incredible 100%.

Since Sweden started trialling a six-hour working day, British employees and employers have been toying with the idea. Now it seems the concept really might have legs.

Half of office workers said they would do just as much work in six hours as they can in eight – rising to 62 per cent amongst 45-54 year olds with over a third said it would improve their wellbeing and just over a quarter saying that it would improve relationships with family members.

The good news for employers is that 27 per cent said it would make them more creative and 16 per cent saying that the change would result in them taking fewer sick days, rising to one quarter for those in Edinburgh.


Barry Koolen, Regional Managing Director at Crown Workplace Relocations commented: “The introduction of a six-hour working day has already been implemented by some employers in Britain with many reporting positive results – improved employee focus and productivity. Historically the British eight-hour working day was created to encourage a work-life balance and these findings suggest we may soon see a new cultural shift towards a six-hour working day.”