Does The 5 Hour Workday Increase Productivity?

Posted on written by Marvin

The majority of us get into the office at 9am and then leave at 5pm.

8 hours a day sitting at our desks or attending meetings. When you think about it you spend around 70% of your week in the workplace.

Is this really a productive way to run a business?

The 9-5 grind is so ingrained in our minds that most people can’t fathom any other way of being employed. That is until the concept of the 5 hour workday caught our attention.

Working 5 hours day sounds great in theory.

Can it work?

What Is The 5 Hour Workday?

The concept behind the 5 hour workday is actually very simple.

Instead of clocking in at 9 and leaving at 5 you cut these 8 hours down. The theory is that we might be at work for 8 hours a day however our combined productivity only makes up around 2-3 hours of this total time. Tips to increase your productivity can help during an 8 hour day however can working less hours be more beneficial?

We have all done some online shopping or had a look to see what is happening on social media throughout the day when we were actually supposed to be productive. The problem is that this eats into how much work we actually get done.

Does It Really Increase Productivity?

Stephan Aarstol, CEO and co-founder of Californian based Tower Paddle Boards, made the move to an 8am to 1pm workday a few years ago.

By eliminating the 9-5 concept and removing an hour lunch break, productivity increased significantly. In fact, Aarstol’s company was named the fastest growing private business in San Diego with $9m of revenue in 2015.

The idea isn’t to reduce productivity by working less hours but rather to increase efficiency by putting more pressure on employee’s to get their work done in less time. You might think that this has an adverse effect however the opposite is true and faced with increased pressure to perform in a short period employees respond well to the changes.

Can It Work For Your Business?

The idea of cutting the 8 hour day to 5 is so alien to many businesses that it almost gets instantly dismissed.

However with the growth of Tower Paddle Boards and the increased efficiency and job satisfaction with the trial of a 6 hour workday in Sweden the merits of reducing hours while increasing productivity gives food for thought.

One big fear for many companies – particularly customer service departments – is that cutting down the hours of availability will harm their business and lead to angry customers. Aarstol found that this wasn’t the case. In fact, by promoting the hours of availability and doing more to communicate FAQs on the company’s website the relationship with his customers wasn’t adversely affected at all.

Start thinking about work in terms of output and not hours. Can an employee do more by working 5 hours instead of 8 for the same wage? Will it give them more enthusiasm for the job by providing a better work/life balance while increasing productivity?

The 5 hour workday might be some way off becoming the norm however for the businesses that have adopted it there has been seriously good results and leaving the office at 1pm everyday can’t be a bad thing, can it?

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