It’s crazy how many responses we’ve had back from our last newsletter! Literally hundreds of replies from readers telling me their stories about their experiences of having to work longer hours to make up the productivity shortfall in their business, and the negative effect of this type of time management has had on them! 

And its true! The research is out there! A seven-year study from the American Journal of Epidemiology revealed that those working more than 55 hours per week performed worse in both verbal reasoning and vocabulary tests than those working 40 hours a week.

This study suggests that those consistently working longer hours are more likely to experience greater cognitive decline over time. So, whilst it may seem reasonable to assume that those who work long hours are more productive, the research points to a different conclusion – working longer hours is detrimental to a person’s long-term productivity.

This is now known as the “productivity cliff”. In 2014 Stanford University researchers found that employee output dropped dramatically after 55 hours, so much so that they claimed that employees working 70 hours a week produced nothing extra in productivity during the extra 15 hours they worked.

And it’s not just the individual who suffers! There is also a wider effect on the team or the business where the practise of working longer hours is encouraged. This is closely tied to higher rates of absenteeism and higher employee turnover. This puts more pressure on the wider team which heightens the risk of them suffering from burnout. And on and on it goes!

So, the misconception that working longer hours equals greater productivity is not only having a detrimental effect on the mental and physical well-being of employees but is also negatively impacting their employers as well!

But, we are realists. We understand that despite all the research highlighting the negative impact of working longer hours, people still need to do their job and need to be seen to be effective in that job. And sometimes it seems the only way is to work longer and harder in order to get the job done. Right?

Well, maybe not! If that scenario sounds all too familiar to you, then check out the video on time management. This video is packed with really useful tips and techniques that show you how to manage your time more effectively, so you never need to feel the pressure of working longer hours to stay out in front. 

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