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Would employees be healthier, more productive with a shorter workweek?
By Amanda Eisenberg
From Employee Benefit News on Wednesday, August 10, 2016
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LuAnn Heinen, vice president at the National Business Group on Health, stressed the importance of creating and maintaining a healthy work environment, especially for those working 40 hours each week.

A healthy environment should be reflective of the employer’s line of work and help its employees harness that energy, she says.

Benefits such as paid time off are also important for recruiting and retaining talent, Heinen says, but employees “come to work for more than the financial rewards.”

“We know the best way to improve productivity is to encourage employees to relax and recover,” she says. “Human beings are meant to work hard and then recover.”

“Employees have to think about their whole life schedule,” Heinen says. “It starts with sleep and it starts with commute time.”

Heinen recommends employees think about locating closer to work when possible, taking public transportation to avoid aggravation about the commute and starting the day with fresh energy that comes from a good night’s sleep.

“Most of us work best in intervals,” Heinen says.

She also recommends moving breaks for stretching or walking.

If all else fails, Heinen recommends flexible scheduling or telecommuting. For employees who live far from the office, for example, working from home or commuting a few days a week can lessen the aggravation.

While it might fall short of a 25-hour workweek, says Heinen, it could help make a 40-hour workweek more productive and fulfilling.