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Data backs 38-hour work week, says Atlassian

Research shows that productivity falls sharply after 50 hours per week, and drops off a cliff after 55 hours, according to Andrew Merle, blogging for Atlassian.

In fact, Merle adds, from a productivity standpoint you shouldn’t go above 50 hours, but to cut down on stress you’d be wise to work even less. This goes beyond taking off one full day at least every week to actually reducing the number of hours per week.

Does this sound outrageous? Merle says it shouldn’t – the claim can be backed by data.

A time management expert, Laura Vanderkam, has studied how the number of hours you work affects how much time you think you have.

“Of the 900 people included in the study, the average person worked 8.3 hours per day. And the results showed that there was only a one-hour difference between the people who felt like they had a lot of time and those who felt time-pressured,” says Merle.

“Those who felt like they had the least time overall worked 8.6 hours, whereas those who felt like they had the most time worked just one hour less (7.6 hours).”

Therefore, Merle says, to not feel starved for time, aim for a 7.6 hour work day, equating to a 38-hour work week.

WIt is no secret that we are busier and more connected than ever, often bouncing from one obligation to the next. This non-stop lifestyle has resulted in 48% of working adults feeling rushed for time, and 52% feeling significant stress as a result,” he writes.

He goes on to correlate the results with happiness and wellbeing levels around the world, in the full blog post, which you can read on the Jira maker’s website in full.

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