There has been a massive online reaction to recent claims made by Jack Ma, the Chinese billionaire and co-founder of the online shopping giant Alibaba, that a 996 working week was the best way to deal with the productivity crisis.

The 996 system promotes a 9am to 9pm working day, 6 days a week, and is already used extensively in many companies in China and Japan.

Jack Ma argues that working longer hours not only improves productivity, but also can provide personal benefits and improve career progression. But is working for longer and working harder really the answer to the productivity puzzle in the UK?

Research from the Mental Health Foundation shows that 1 in 7 people in the UK experience mental health problems in the workplace, and that approximately 13% of all sickness absence days can be attributed to mental health conditions.

The reality is that working longer hours does the opposite to promoting productivity in the workplace, it stifles it and can have a real negative effect on an employees mental and physical wellbeing.

Employees working longer hours are not only more likely to suffer from exhaustion, poor sleep quality and increased stress, but they are also more likely to suffer from long term health problems like depression and heart disease.

So, if working longer hours is not the answer to increasing productivity, what is?

We believe the quickest way to improve your team’s productivity, is to first improve their capabilities. Sounds simple doesn’t it? But its obvious! A more engaged, more capable team will undoubtedly be more productive.

If you want to lead your team on a journey to better behaviours and better results, you need to know how to communicate effectively, and a massive part of that communication process is the ability to give good feedback.

If you want to learn how to be super effective in giving honest feedback, without making the other person feel upset, demotivated or uncomfortable, then you’ll want to watch the leadership and communication videos.

The coaching series will talk you through the importance of being honest with your feedback, how to give feedback the right way and how to avoid all the pitfalls that come from delivering feedback badly. 

Check out more of the articles for more Leadership and Communication Skills Training.

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