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Whether youʼre running a business or working in one.

Taking time out is just as important as putting time in; and something thatʼs had my attention over the past few years has been Scandinaviaʼs introduction of the six-hour working day.

The Scandinavianʼs are considered to be the happiest people in the world – not least because they put a huge emphasis on work-life balance and encouraging their citizens to embrace hygge (the little things in life!).

So it came as no surprise that the results of a six-hour working day were overwhelmingly positive – increased productivity, lower staff turnover,reduced sick leave and higher emotional wellbeing to name just a few.

Bringing it slightly closer to home, researchers at the University of Melbourne recently analysed the work habits and cognitive abilities of 6,500 people here in Australia; with results showing that those aged over 40 and working a three-day week outperform those working longer hours.

It emerged that cognitive function improved as working hours increased – but only up until 25 hours per week!

After that, as hours went up productivity went down. So much so that those working 55 hours a week performed worse than the unemployed or retired people taking part in the study!

Now while this research was targeted at a specific age group, itʼs not rocket science to work out that happier employees are more productive; and that giving your employees and team members flexibility in their working week leads to great things.

In fact, undertaking the research for this article made me realise that the Deli team are one lucky bunch – not one member of the team works a 40 hour or 5 day week!

For me, working a 6 hour day and taking time out of the business regularly allows me to:

  • always focus on the task in hand,
  • hit the reset button,
  • regain perspective on the world and my life,
  • experiences new and exciting things,
  • and travel more.

For the team, working a shorter weeks allows them to stay creative and get involved with personal creative projects outside of the office.
It’s vital for ensuring that we’re always on top of our game; and the benefit itʼs had on both our lives and the business has been astronomical!

I challenge you to give it a go yourself. To take time for yourself. And to become so much more productive!