Work Time Reduction’s research Center of Excellence has today published a new white paper on ‘the science of work time reduction’, which adds to the mounting evidence that working less can translate to a healthier and productive work environment with better outcomes for both employees and organizations.

Authored by Work Time Reduction researcher and consultant Dr. John P. Trougakos, Ph.D., MBA, a management professor at the University of Toronto, the report examines the scientific foundations of work time reduction and its implications for employee wellbeing and productivity.

It presents a compelling research-supported case for the benefits of various forms of work time reduction, including:

– reducing work hours within the existing work week structure
– effective work breaks
– developing reduced work time schedules

This paper clearly demonstrates that pressing employees to work longer hours is not the answer to job effectiveness. Instead, it emphasizes that identifying ways to work smarter and find efficiencies while prioritizing focused, concentrated effort is key.

In exploring the mental and physical demands of work, it challenges many of the standard practices and workplace wellness interventions employed by organizations as ignoring one of the most critical drivers of challenges to employee productivity and well-being, namely excessive workloads and hours that overtax the mental and physical capacities of individuals.

It proposes an alternative pathway to foster a more supportive and sustainable work environment, focused on policies that address hours worked, workload and work-related stressors.

Other key highlights from the report include:

– The most productive workers have a smaller ratio of work time to break time, compared to other employees who do not perform as effectively.

– Employees with greater flexibility in their work schedules experience reduced conflict between work and personal life, leading to enhanced psychological well-being, lower stress levels and more positive job-related attitudes.

– Managers that believe in the merits of working long hours tend to be driven more by perception and ‘performative busyness’ than by data.

– Extended or prolonged work hours can lead to a range of damaging, negative consequences, such as disrupted sleep patterns, increased fatigue and emotional exhaustion, decreased cognitive function, impaired decision-making, and reduced overall job performance.

– The advantages for organizations in adopting practical work time reduction schedules and models, such as four-day work weeks and shorter workdays, extend beyond employee wellbeing and satisfaction to encompass increased productivity, improved talent attraction, and a competitive edge in the contemporary workplace.

To obtain a copy of the full report, featuring an action guide with recommendations for how to implement a shorter work week, please submit a request below.

Request a Copy of the Science of WTR Report

"*" indicates required fields

Consent to contact