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Swedes' Trial With 6-Hour Workday Getting Thumbs-Up

There are expenses involved, but workers seem happier, more productive

(Newser) - Full-time workers in the US spend an average of 47 hours a week punched in for a paycheck, according to Gallup data cited by Quartz , keeping pace with the current trend to work harder and longer. But a retirement home in Sweden has been reaping positive results from an experiment... More »

Study Reveals How to Take Better Work Breaks

For starters, don't wait until the afternoon

(Newser) - Did you just get caught taking a few minutes to update your fantasy football team or Instagram your lunch? Just tell your boss it's making you a better worker. Two researchers from Baylor University recently published a study after looking at the break habits of 95 workers to identify... More »

To Work Better, Break Every 52 Minutes

And make those breaks 17 minutes' long: study

(Newser) - To maximize your productivity, you should probably be spending a lot more time not working. At least, that is, according to a study that finds we should take 17-minute breaks after every 52 minutes of work. The idea, the Muse reports, is to treat those 52-minute work periods "as... More »

When Did Americans Stop Dreaming of Leisure Time?

In the 1950s, we thought we'd have 30-hour workweeks by now: Matt Novak

(Newser) - "Tell your children not to be surprised if the year 2000 finds 35 or even a 20-hour work week fixed by law." That prediction was made by the AP in 1950. In 1967, Walter Cronkite predicted we'd also be enjoying month-long vacations by the year 2000. Today,... More »

Chill! You'll Get Way More Done

Human-energy expert urges us to relax and get some sleep

(Newser) - Wake up tired, scroll through email, wolf down whatever, rush to work, and scramble to keep up—and that's just your morning. Sound familiar? A man who has built a business around telling people to relax makes his case in the New York Times : "Paradoxically, the best way... More »

It's Time to End the 60-Hour Workweek

40 hours provides maximum productivity: Geoffrey James

(Newser) - Putting in a 60-hour workweek may look impressive—but it's probably not helping the company, or you. Plenty of studies back this up, writes Geoffrey James at Time , who points to a turn-of-the-20th-century analysis by Ford Motor Company that concluded the most productive number of weekly hours for workers... More »

2011 Senate 'Laziest' in Decades

2011 saw least-productive session since 1992

(Newser) - The 2011 Senate produced less legislation than any other since 1992, according to a report by the chamber's own secretary. Throughout its 170 days, the Senate was in session an average of just 6.5 hours per day; only 2008's Senate had a lower figure, with three members... More »

VW Is Right: Shut Off the BlackBerries

Why automaker's move to unplug employees makes sense

(Newser) - Three cheers for Volkswagen! The German automaker has decided to turn off the email server for its employees' BlackBerries every day before and after work, and Roger Cohen of the New York Times thinks it’s a visionary move. Constantly being plugged into work has real costs, and while employees... More »

British Businesses Grumble About Wedding Day Off

Public holiday predicted to cost economy almost $10B

(Newser) - Guillotine-wielding protesters aren't the only people in Britain not entirely thrilled about today's royal wedding. The British are getting an extra public holiday for the occasion and business owners complain that they're losing revenue at a time when they're trying to recover from recession. The... More »

US Workers Stretched Thin

With productivity decreasing, companies may need to hire

(Newser) - The employed portion of the US workforce is feeling burnt out. According to new numbers from the Labor Department, productivity fell 0.9% this quarter, as the time workers spent on the job rose faster than the economic output they produced. That means companies could soon be forced to hire... More »

Sleeping In Will Help at Work

Sleep hard on Sunday, and you'll feel better on Monday

(Newser) - Sleeping in on Saturday or Sunday could boost your energy and productivity on Monday, according to a new study. Just one extended snooze—think 10 hours or more—can help the brain recover from a week of not sleeping enough, a University of Pennsylvania researcher tells the Daily Telegraph . “... More »

Google's Pac-Man Doodle Cost $120M in Lost Work

Playable logo sucked up 5M working hours

(Newser) - Google's playable Pac-Man doodle left the world's bosses short-changed to the tune of $120 million last week, according to Tony Wright, maker of productivity tracking software Rescue Time . Wright calculates that the game caused users—most of whom, presumably, were at work and supposed to be doing something besides munching... More »

As Jobs Dry Up, Self Employment On the Rise

More Americans set out on their own, often in real estate

(Newser) - The number of hours worked by the self-employed jumped 8.5% in the last three months of 2009, as more unemployed people decided to try being their own bosses and those already self-employed buckled down, according to new figures from the Labor Department. “Firms aren’t hiring, so people... More »

Some Software to Keep You Focused

Digital nannies keep you away from distracting web sites

(Newser) - The PC is a devilishly distracting tool, with news, social-networking, and game sites—not to mention work—vying for your attention. To salvage his productivity, Farhad Manjoo turned to a number of programs designed to cut down on distractions, he writes for the New York Times. There are three types.... More »

Troops Fume Over Proposed Smoking Ban

'If I were forced to quit, I'd probably be unbearable,' says one

(Newser) - Since the days of Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s signature corncob pipe, through the rationing of cigarettes during World War II, smoking has been ingrained part of military culture. But a new proposal to introduce a smoking ban in the armed forces is sparking fierce opposition, with some saying it could... More »

Let Employees Roam the Web

(Newser) - Protecting against viruses and encouraging productivity is all well and good, Farhad Manjoo writes on Slate, but “locking down” company computers isn’t the way to go about it. Companies that “block the Web and various other online distractions on the theory that a cowed workforce is an... More »

Economy Is Only Recovering on Paper

(Newser) - If you’re the glass-half-full type, recent economic indicators look good: Unemployment fell last month, the savings rate is up, and productivity hit a 6-year high. But that same data proves that ordinary people aren’t likely to feel the good vibrations anytime soon, the Washington Post reports. “It's... More »

Dow Up 75 on Jobless Data

(Newser) - Markets edged up today on good unemployment claims and productivity data, the Wall Street Journal reports. But traders appear to be holding out for tomorrow’s employment report, and the rising price of oil continues to worry. “We have to hope it doesn't go to $80,” one trader... More »

Surfing on Company Time Boosts Productivity

May we suggest

(Newser) - If your boss catches you reading this article, don’t sweat it. A little recreational internet use on the job makes for more productive employees, according to a new Australian study. The study surveyed 300 people, 70% of whom engaged in a little WILB—“workplace Internet leisure browsing.”... More »

Japanese Told to Work Less, Have More Sex

More kids needed

(Newser) - Japan has one of the lowest birth rates in the world, thanks, health experts say, to an overworked populace too tired to have much sex. Surveys show that married Japanese couples under 50 have sex an average of 45 times a year, less than half the global average. Now some... More »

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