The last ten years has seen a rapid increase in digital technology. This has shrunk the world of business and theoretically made the working week shorter. Add in the advancements in robotics and AI and we should all be working ten hours a week!
Yet the reality is that 2 in 5 Australians regularly work more than the 40 hour week with as many as 270,000 completing 70 hours plus. The fact is that many employers expect too much from their employees and don’t use places like Brix projects to boost their staff when needed.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a miner, working in tourism or a doctor; you have to question how effective you can be when working this many hours.
There have been many studies into this and it appears there are a number of negative side effects to working so many hours. No studies show positive effects although you can get guides to maintaining your health when working so many hours.
The latest research suggests that people who regularly work over 55 hours per week have a 33% increase in their chances of having a stroke!
But that’s not all. They also have a 13% increased risk of heart disease and an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Workers who do long hours are also more likely to have sleep issues and drink excessive amounts of alcohol!
Perhaps of most concern to employers is that research has shown that productivity starts to drop as soon as an employee reaches 50 hours. From the moment it reached 56 hours per week productivity drops rapidly; in effect an employer gains no benefit from anyone working past 56 hours.
Cognition covers short term memory and the ability to focus on specific tasks as well as your ability to spell and find solutions to issues.
Research shows that working more than 55 hours per week will dramatically reduce your cognitive abilities. Tests performed on employees consistently confirm their results are lower after working these long hours.
The simple fact is that when you are working this number of hours there is very little time for anything else other than sleeping and eating. This means that many people who work long hours do not have enough time to exercise properly. This increases your body weight and your risk of a variety of illnesses.
The simple truth is that everyone needs sleep and downtime from their work. Switching off and focusing on other things improves your abilities when in the workplace. But this is not possible if you are working 70 hours a week. In fact, even when you’re not at work you’re likely to be thinking about work.
The solution is for employers and entrepreneurs to recognize this fact and stop working such long hours. Temporary workers can help to cover the basic tasks leaving your valued employees free to boost productivity and improve the status of the company. You’ll be surprised by how much difference it can make!