There is a real cap on our productivity and after we hit it, we struggle to maintain and lose the ability to do our job at our best.
Unfortunately, societal norms and expectations to fulfill a minimum 40 hour work week have made it such that people feel they get more accomplished the longer they work. In recent years, science has confirmed that this couldn’t be further from the truth as once you exhaust yourself, your productivity decreases and you tend to make more mistakes. For this reason, many of the world’s biggest companies are adopting shorter work weeks to make the overall happiness of their employees a priority, thus creating a better company culture made up of well-adjusted people who come to work ready to be productive.
4 – 5 Hour Work Days
In various studies conducted by psychologists on work productivity, they’ve found that after four or five hours of productive work per day, performance begins to stall and efficiency decreases rapidly.
According to K. Anders Ericsson, an expert on the psychology of work, pushing beyond this amount of time makes the quality of work suffer, yields more mistakes, and encourages people to acquire bad habits. Even worse, those bad habits will make their way into the time when they are normally productive.
4 Day Work Week
In a 2014 paper from Stanford University, it was found that people began producing less work with less efficiency once they hit the 50 hour mark in a work week.
In a similar study by the Families and Work Institute, respondents reported that they make more mistakes when they feel stressed at work.
The aforementioned lends well to the suggestion that we should begin transitioning to a four day work week – something many people in the work field would be in favor of. In a recent study, 28% of respondents stated that they would give up one day worth of pay for one extra day off from work.
Making Mistakes At Work
In a recent study conducted on medical nurses, researchers determined that adverse events and error variables were significantly related to working more than 40 hours in the average week. Small tasks relating to medication and needle-stick injuries had the strongest correlation to the work hour and voluntary overtime variables.
The Correlation Between Overworking & Depression
A recent Japanese study surveyed employees from several small-medium sized businesses and found that respondents who worked 10 hours per day and slept only 6 hours per night reported up to 97% more symptoms of depression than those who worked between 6 and 8 hours each day.
It has long been inferred that the length of the work day would be shortened with the advent of new technologies, though this hasn’t proven to be the case thus far as a minimum 40 hour work remains standard in most cultures.
The aforementioned findings, supported by ample research, suggest that a shorter work week could yield more efficient & happier employees.
What do you think? Should more employers adopt a four day work week?
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