Workers worked harder, not longer
"We found workers were more efficient in six-hour days than eight-hour days," said Bengt Lorentzon, one of the study's researchers, told the Washington Post. According to the study, with less time allotted every day, the nurses would manage their responsibilities better, and that the benefits would also extend to their patient interactions.
"They would go the extra mile," Lorentzon said. "They had more time to sit down and listen, read a book, look at a newspaper with them or comfort those not feeling so good."
Overall happiness went up
In the United States, registered nurse has previously been rated as one of the unhappiest jobs around, right behind other thankless work like clerking, and customer service. Also, 12-hour shifts are normal in the US healthcare system, often extending into additional hours. It's a job that beats you down, and a shortened work day goes a long way toward alleviating that stress.
"Less tiredness and more physical activities is the major improvement," Lorentzon said. The nurses were reportedly less stressed at the end of their work days and had much more time to themselves to do...presumably anything except their jobs.