Study: Working Longer Hours Won’t Increase Your Productivity

By February 20, 2018For Talent

Have you ever been secretly proud of yourself when you’ve pulled a 50+ hour work week? Maybe you got a kick out of being a real corporate warrior and putting your job before anything else. Maybe you relish the praise from your peers.

Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news but all those nights you spent in the office instead of at home with your loved ones or out with your friends might have been a complete waste of time.

In his book, ”Great at Work”, UC Berkley management professor Morgen T. Hansen examines the factors that make us good at our jobs.

As part of his research, Hansen analysed the performance of 5,000 employees and managers.

He found that working longer hours enhances performance, but only up to a certain point.

If you work 30-50 hours a week adding a few more hours can increase your performance. However, performance begins to dip once you go over this mark.

If you work 65 hours or more, our overall performance actually declines. Which means you could fall behind your work colleagues who leave at 6pm on the button.

Hansen’s research is not the first of its kind. As far back as 1914 Stanford economist John Pencavel¬†studied factory workers at a weaponry plant in Britain and found that performance topped out at 64-67 hours per week. After that, it began to fall.

The results of the survey should serve as a wakeup call to overworked employees everywhere. Longer hours doesn’t necessarily mean better results. It’s all about how you work and manage your time. That’s what really counts.


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Author Alice Murray

Alice Murray is a Content Creator at Jobbio with a passion for Employer Branding and Graduate Culture. She's a keen traveller and a self-proclaimed lazy runner.

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