A 9 to 5 work day has become the norm for most of the American population. For some, even longer hours are expected on certain days. Recently, studies have shown that the longer an employee spends in the office, the less productive they actually are.
An article from the Harvard Business Review suggests that longer work days are beginning to take a toll on employees and executives alike. CEO’s are beginning to lose valuable employees because the employee is simply burnt out. They were worked too hard for too long and finally decided that the outcome is not worth the stress endured.
Negativity can be the number one sign of a tired and stressed employee and a negative attitude is a lot more common than one may think. In fact, about 80% of the top 400 leaders tested in an HBR survey said that they spend the majority of their day feeling over whelmed and “negative”. As we all know, negativity can be hurtful to not only ourselves, but others around us. It can bring others down and make them feel unappreciated.
The article goes on to say that not only does negativity stem from a tired, over worked individual, but so does the idea of fight or flight. Fight or flight takes place when the brain decides whether or not you should stay and fight or turn around and run in a given situation. For instance, if you came face to face with a bear, your brain would tell you to do whatever you could to get away instead of staying and trying to fight the bear.
It is hard, sometimes, for our brains to decipher a real, life-threatening situation (like the bear example) from a metaphorical, threatening situation. This means that instead of finding a solution and fighting for a position or a job, we tend to throw in the towel and go elsewhere. That’s just how we’re wired.
So how can companies fight this mentality of their ailing employees?
The answer is simple; work less. There is a difference between being busy and being productive. The majority of employees, tend to work the best when well rested and in a positive mindset meaning it’s not how long a person works, it’s how well a person works. Giving an employee the option of longer breaks or shorter work days may surprisingly increase their productivity, resulting in better business for the company.
Do you think that eventually the 8 hour work day will disappear? Why or why not?