Some people like to be the last to leave the office—it impresses the boss, and it feels like you are working hard. But can’t you just hyperfocus and do the work in a shorter amount of time? Yes, studies say, and it’s actually better for both your health and the company.
One study in the Harvard Business Review showed that managers actually couldn’t tell the difference between employees who worked 80 hour weeks and those who pretended to. There was no evidence that the fakers had accomplished less, or that the overworkers accomplished more. It also showed that working too many hours can cause or make worse “impaired sleep, depression, heavy drinking, diabetes, impaired memory, and heart disease.” And that’s not good for a company’s bottom line. Productivity is lowered and their health insurance costs go up.
People also make mistakes when they’re sleepy, which also costs the company money when they have to clean up your mess.
“People like this [who don’t sleep much] put themselves, their teams, their companies, and the general public in serious jeopardy, says Dr. Charles A. Czeisler, the Baldino Professor of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School,” reports the Harvard Business Review. “To him, encouraging a culture of sleepless machismo is worse than nonsensical; it is downright dangerous, and the antithesis of intelligent management.”
Overwork also shows you can’t handle your time effectively and get through tasks that can be done in a shorter amount of time if you’re not surfing the web and getting distracted all day.
In the work study, Sarah Green Carmichael found that good work increased when work hours were limited.
“In the 19th century, when organized labor first compelled factory owners to limit workdays to 10 (and then eight) hours, management was surprised to discover that output actually increased — and that expensive mistakes and accidents decreased,” she said.
People log too many hours in their cubicle because of ambition, appearance, anxiety, or maybe they just hate their life at home, but that’s your problem. Don’t make the rest of us suffer.
So here’s to the three-day weekend. Imagine no case of the Mondays?
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