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Money The surprising outcome of a five-hour work day

12:55  12 may  2018
12:55  12 may  2018 Source:   msn.com

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Do you ever wish you could be paid the same to work less? How about a five - hour day instead of eight, nine, or more? And while management hoped the change would make their staff happier, healthier, and more productive, there was one surprising outcome they didn’t bet on.

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Jonathan Elliot is the Managing Director of Collins SBA in Tasmania.© Collins SBA Jonathan Elliot is the Managing Director of Collins SBA in Tasmania. Do you ever wish you could be paid the same to work less? How about a five-hour day instead of eight, nine, or more?

For employees at one Australian company this dream is a reality.

And while management hoped the change would make their staff happier, healthier, and more productive, there was one surprising outcome they didn’t bet on.

“We have noticed a significant drop off in sick leave,” Operations Director at financial firm Collins SBA, Claudia Parsons, told nine.com.au.

“People have a lot more time to invest in themselves and their health.”

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At the start of last year, the 30-odd staff at his firm, Collins SBA, began a trial of a five - hour day , with no cut in their pay. They had to start between 8am and 9am and get their work done by 1pm or 2pm.

A company in Australia took a radical approach to the working day and shortened it — and the effects on its employees were surprising . Pilita Clark from the Financial Times also recalls the case of Stephan Aarstol, entrepreneur and author of "The Five - Hour Workday : Live Differently, Unlock

The company began trialling a five-hour work day at the start of 2017 after extensive research on similar programs showed signs of success in Sweden.

Managing Director of the firm, Jonathon Elliot, said there was a lot of scepticism when the concept was first broached, but there were safeguards in place in case things went pear-shaped.

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  Forget the 9-5 grind: An Australian company is literally HALVING employees' work hours while paying them the same salary – and productivity has soared Financial firm Collins SBA, based in Hobart, at the end of last year started a trial at the which saw all employees work a five-hour day, as long as they got the job done. 'It's hands-down the most life-changing workplace initiative I've ever been involved in,' the firm's operations director Claudia Parsons told news.com.au. 'Our staff produced the same workload, received the same pay, and had the same responsibilities. The idea was that if you could get all this done within a five-hour period, you were free to leave at 2.' Ms Parsons said the transition brought a significant change to office culture.

We decided to move to a five - hour workday , where everyone works from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. By eliminating an hour-long lunch, we only reduced our work time by two hours. When I tell people my team only works five hours a day , their response is always, "That's nice, but it won't work for me."

Although sometimes they need to talk to us outside of the five hours , it’s surprising how often they’re happy to wait a While there was a definite transition at first – where staff worked towards a five - hour workday – if someone was still at This is probably one of the best outcomes of the five - hour day .

Employees were offered the same workload, responsibilities, and most importantly the same pay packet when the initial three-month trial started.

a woman in a red shirt: Claudia Parsons is the Operations Director at Collins SBA which has a five hour work day.© Provided by Nine Digital Pty Ltd Claudia Parsons is the Operations Director at Collins SBA which has a five hour work day.

“During the trial we said we would cancel it at any time if we felt the wheels were falling off,” Mr Elliot told nine.com.au.

The only other rules were staff had to be in the office during “core hours” (9am-2pm), and were only allowed to leave if they had completed all their tasks and met their KPIs.

Despite there being “a few teething problems” initially, the project was so successful they decided to implement it full time.

“We’ve made huge inroads into increasing productivity,” Ms Parsons said.

“And part of the reason is that people now have a vested interest in getting things done efficiently.”

“We made it really, really clear with our team that the 5-hour day was a reward, not a right,” Ms Parsons said.

And unsurprisingly, the new structure has been met with an “overwhelmingly positive” response from staff, especially working parents.

“I think culturally things have changed where people are hanging at their desks after 4pm when all their work is done,” Mr Elliot said.

He also stressed the company complies with Australian award rates, and staff are still encouraged to take regular breaks.

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