SCIENTIFIC DATA EXIST NOT ONLY IN THE SPHERE OF THEORY: many of them are quite capable of improving our life, or at least explaining how it works. Today we are figuring out how long a working day should last and how to make it more productive.
When we spend more hours at work, we don't necessarily perform better - our productivity has a limit
Most of us are used to working five days a week, eight hours a day, from nine to six, with an hour's lunch break - but should this be the ideal work schedule? Researchers often question the established scheme. For example, the economist John Maynard Keynes predicted back in 1928 that a 15-hour work week would become the norm by 2030, and in the 1960s Herman Kahn said that in the future, Americans will have 13 weeks of vacation a year, and they will only work four. days a week.
In the spring, data from a Swedish experiment were published that challenged the classic model: employees at Svartedalens hospital switched to a six-hour day, while receiving the same salary. In the first year, the program helped to achieve excellent results: according to the report, workers began to take less time off, their productivity and health indicators increased, and they began to work more efficiently. Several other Swedish companies have adopted a similar model.
Proponents of this approach say that when we spend more hours at work, we do not necessarily perform better - there is a limit to our productivity. Data from a study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, for example, found that employees who worked more than 55 hours a week were less effective on tests than those who worked 40 hours. This idea sounds obvious, but it’s just as important: we know from our own experience that overwork is bad for our health and productivity. Scientists agree with this view: a study published last year in the Lancet found that people who work 55 hours a week or more had a 33% higher risk of stroke and 13% higher risk of coronary artery disease. hearts compared to those who work the standard 35-40 hours. The researchers say they can't say for sure that overwork causes stroke and heart disease - but there is a link between the two.
In addition, some scholars point out that it may be beneficial for us to start working later. Research data from two years ago showed that the later we arrive at the office, the better we get enough sleep: the person who comes to work an hour late sleeps 20 minutes longer, and each additional hour increases the sleep time by another 20 minutes.
Finally, some researchers say that it is not the length of the work day that matters, but how we structure it for the greatest productivity. For example, according to an experiment conducted last year, it is most productive to work for 52 minutes and then take a 17-minute break.