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Saturday, October 28, 2020

Work Less, Gain More

Thanks to Management Issues, I found this article, called "Work less, gain more." It seems that research is confirming a key element in Slow Leadership: that productivity does not depend on working longer hours.
Offering key employees the opportunity to work fewer hours at reduced pay and benefits might seem like heresy – particularly in U.S. corporations. But a new study has revealed that some household name employers have woken up to the very real benefits that such flexibility can bring.

According to Dr. Ellen Ernst Kossek of Michigan State University's School of Labor and Industrial Relations, flexible work schedules that offer reduced workloads could be a key way of attracting, retaining and motivating top-performing employees.
In a study that included such big names as IBM, Starbucks, Deloitte & Touche, and General Mills, Dr. Kossek and Mary Dean Lee of McGill University in Montreal showed that reduced-load work arrangements can produce benefits for employers, including greater productivity, less turnover and cost savings. Employees working fewer hours were less stressed, able to manage family commitments and felt they performed their job better. They also exhibited a greater loyalty to the organization.

This is what we have been saying here since this site began, so it is very gratifying to find independently-produced support from researchers at a highly reputable university.

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9 Comments:

John said...

I'd love to see a study on just how much "more" (or, obviously, less) work companies get out of someone when they pressure them to work overtime, particular unpaid overtime as they do in the tech industry all the time.

My organization at work has been pressuring large amounts of people to work long hours almost steadily for a year now, and I think it's got to be one of the stupidest things they could be doing. (Don't worry, I haven't allowed myself or my reports to be pressured!)

9:50 AM  
Carmine Coyote said...

Well, John, I share your curiosity. I suspect forcing people to "work" longer hours merely compels them to stay in the workplace. It reminds me of the old saying that you can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make it drink.

Besides, I cannot see how tired, possibly demotivated, and disaffected people are going to be more productive than fresh, happy ones.

It seems to me to be a mental hangover from the days when work was either manual or clerical labor, and therefore long hours meant doing more. With today's knowledge-based work, time surely matters far less than ideas.

Keep reading, my friend.

10:19 AM  
Craig said...

This is precisely what I do. I have negociated a four day work week, and I have a three day weekend. It did mean a 20% reduction in my rates, but that was more than compensated for by having the extra day to do my own thing. I am still however convinced that I am as productive as I was when working for five days.

7:50 AM  
Carmine Coyote said...

Good for you, Craig! More people should have the courage to try the same thing.

Keep reading, my friend.

8:04 AM  
Jason said...

Dear Coyote,

I work for one of the aforementioned. I have never, ever heard of such thing as work load reduction.

Despite becomes slightly more touchy feeling....this corp is still stuch in an aggressive performance culture and a renowned for low reward in the market place.

I won't go on.

Regards
Jason

A regular.

11:10 AM  
Carmine Coyote said...

Hi Jason,

I feel for you, my friend. I'm afraid that fine words are very cheap.

Hang in there!

12:34 PM  
People for a Shorter Workweek said...

That was a great article (Work Less, Gain More). Thanks for posting it on your site!

7:33 PM  
People for a Shorter Workweek said...

That was a GREAT article (Work Less, Gain More). I just found your blog.

7:34 PM  
Carmine Coyote said...

Thanks, PFASWW. Keep reading.

10:29 PM  

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