Could We Benefit from a Shorter Work Day?
A writer for Business Insider cut her 45 hour work week by 20% and reported on the pros and cons of the experiment. Shana Lebowitz worked 9 - 5 with a half hour lunch break in the middle of the day for two weeks. She was not allowed to do anything work related outside of that time frame.
She mentions that she was just as productive as a regular day, and felt more focused for the hours that she was in the office. However, being allowed to go home and leave her work behind did not necessarily mean it was guilt-free.
Lebowitz quoted a Danish worker in a Washington Post article. “Here, if you can't get your work done in the standard 37 hours a week, you're seen as inefficient.” She generalizes that in the US, we value stamina over efficiency. "working long hours has become something of a status symbol. My fear (while perhaps unfounded) was that when coworkers who didn't know about my experiment saw me leaving at 5, they would perceive me as a slacker — not as an efficiency guru."
Personally, I'd enjoy an extra hour two every day to spend with family or friends. Maybe even by myself to exercise or read. As long as all my tasks are completed at the end of the day, why should it matter if it only takes me 6 hours to do so?