I always wanted to write about my attitude to work overtime. As a person who professionally grew up in a big corporation, in which extra hours used as a demonstration of values, loyalty and banal fawning for superiors, I always felt an internal resistance to the phenomenon of working overtime.
I also had a familiar financial director who sat every day until 12 pm, but in the morning he came to work at best at 11 o’clock. I always did not understand the extra hours, since after an intense working day the brain refuses to concentrate, slows down and this is constantly mistaken. And to people who stay late until late, I always treated with disbelief, as to sycophants.
Give your employees a break
The phenomenon of overtime can be studied. Lets descry the case of Japan. The Japanese even have a term describing death in the workplace. It is called “karosi” – sudden death in the workplace, caused by fatigue and overwork. Every year, karosi takes hundreds of lives (only officially 250-350 cases). The diligence of the Japanese is amazing – recently I came across an article about a new trend in Japan – diapers on a job, so as not to go to the toilet!
“The number of Japanese who work overtime is more than 60 hours a week higher than in any other developed country, but the contribution of each employee is the lowest among the industrialized countries”, – says Director-General of Life Work Balance Co. Ltd. in Tokyo, Yoshi Komuro. This company, which claims that the best way to increase productivity is to give employees a break. A long working day hides a lot of costs. This is a great delusion to believe that the longer a person works, the more he will produce. “Working hours and results are not correlated,” – says Komuro. In fact, she is watching exactly the feedback from some of her busiest clients. Some companies even increased their earnings after reducing overtime by 30%.
An indefatigable toiler is a myth. Our brain can focus only for 13 hours after awakening. After that, our concentration is also bad, like drunk driver, overworked employees spend more time fixing office errors that could have been avoided. You pay more for the time when people tend to make more mistakes and give less good ideas. The more time they spend at work, the worse their results become.
Work overtime also affects the personal life and health of staff. A person who cannot be productive on the job cannot be productive. Or he will fill all his spare time with work and become a “toxic” worker in the end. But about toxic people and their harm for the company in the next article.
Encourage efficiency, not stupid perseverance. I advise companies to create a culture in which work is not encouraged an extra time. It is important that the mood is laid down for the result and it does not matter how long the person was sitting at work. Management needs to think about resting employees and their emotional state. I can say on personal experience: as soon as I started working until six o’clock (it was to work, not to drink coffee with colleagues, not to talk on the phone, not to be distracted by Facebook), my productivity increased, because I switched to personal life and rest at the end of a day’s work, and by morning I am again ready for fruitful work for the benefit of myself and the company.
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Branch manager | Accace Ukraine
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