The Over 40 Hour Myth

In a recent blog, When 40 Hours is Enough, I discussed how ineffective and unproductive people become as they routinely work over 40 hours in a week. While I have no illusions that hardcore workaholics will change their ways, I am hopeful that business owners and managers will see the light. But, the truth is that it is a myth to believe that regularly working over 40 hours per week adds significant value.

It’s about Efficiency

If you read my previous post you may recall the example of a study showing that when people routinely worked 60 hours instead of 40 in a week, there was not an increase of 50% in production. The increased production was actually closer to 25-30%, giving an efficiency rate of 60%. So, rather than getting 20 hours of additional work, you actually get closer to 12 hours. Of course, this does no even consider the loss of efficiency in the first 40 hours. The efficiency loss is simply not worth the extra cost. Yet the myth continues that routine overtime is necessary.

It’s about Effectiveness

Not only does routinely working in excess of 40 hours per week reduce efficiency, it also introduces higher error rates and thus decreases effectiveness of the work done. Yet, the myth continues that this practice is both efficient and productive. So why do so many businesses insist on continuing a practice that studies clearly show to be counter-productive? That is the million dollar question! I wish I knew the answer.

Avoid the Herd Mentality

Just because other companies continue a practice that is clearly not in the best interest of the company and its employees, you don’t have to join the herd. Make your business different and make a difference. You likely will be pleasantly surprised at the increase in efficiency and effectiveness, along with having happier employees.

If you want to know more, contact AimCFO – Contact

As always, your comments are welcomed.


Leave a Reply

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner