Making Work, Work Better – By Darren McLeod from Agent Marketing

So much to do and so little time. We’ve all said it.

We’ve all gazed at the blurred scribbles of a never ending to-do list, wondering where to start and where it will ever finish. We all work to deadlines and sometimes it’s a struggle to find the time to get them done. Increasingly, we as a nation, find the time by taking away the things we love doing outside of work. Sacrificing time with our loved ones, opting for ‘something quick’ to eat as well as recharging and relaxing to be ready to do it all again in the morning. And if you take note of any study on our work/life balances, it is doing little to improve our health and wellbeing.

But since the eight hour working day is pretty much a standardised practice the world over, is there a better way? Well in Sweden, they think they’ve cracked it.

I’ve read a lot about the six-hour-day and the benefits it appears to be delivering, but never thought it would be possible here. Now, imagine the scenario above, and being told (in front of a film crew and the BBC’s Dom Littlewood) that you’re going to trial it, what would be going through your head? How’s that going to work, I hear you ask. That’s madness, I hear you say. Both things went through my mind when the big reveal happened. Then I switched (as I do) to trying to figure out how to make it work.

In short, the experiment was brilliant. It forced us to find new ways of working, delivering and producing which I dare say gave greater focus and quality. We managed to cut through a lot of the admin which takes up time, to focus on actual project delivery and the results, from a client’s perspective, have been pretty clear when we see for ourselves their delight with what we present to them.

In my personal life, I was able to do all the things I love and not have that nagging feeling at the back of my head of an uncompleted action, because honestly, everything was done. I did more around the house, ate better and saw people I’d have otherwise missed before the Christmas break. It gave me time to relax and reflect and come up with great ideas that seemed to come out of nowhere.

In terms of draw backs; so far I can’t think of any. I’ll not lie, it was a scary idea to wrap my head around to begin with. But in the ‘doing’, it very quickly made sense. Culturally, all of us at Agent love what we do and embrace things that challenge, change and disrupt what is the ‘normal’ way of doing things, so we were already in a good place to give it a go.

Will we keep doing it? Can we keep doing it?

I personally think there’s a way of making it work for us, in the same way that it can work for many other companies. There are also industries that could not simply function on a 6 hour working day, but a more focussed approach to employee wellbeing is something that cannot be taken for granted any more – and if a company wants to be better at what they do – nor should it.

You can find more content from Darren, and Agent Marketing in general, here.

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