Harvard Business Review Says, “Don’t Work So hard”…
In an article entitled The Productivity Myth, Harvard Business Review Blogger Tony Schwartz starts his article off stating that American’s are working 10% less now than we were before the recession, yet our production remains constant – the same. What he neglects to mention in this article is how he is defining “production”, but it appears as one reads on – he is speaking of the amount of tasks one gets done in a given time frame OR how many hours one puts in.
The conclusion or summary of this article is that one need not be concerned with the amount of time put in or tasks complete, but more importantly – we need to be concerned with the value of what we are working on. I agree with this statement.
What I don’t agree with are the reasons he cites work American productivity being “too much” and people working “too much”.
If we look at this in the context of running a sales department, there is no such thing as “too many sales” (assuming you are being ethical). If employee “A” can produce a work product that is of the highest value in 5 hours and it takes Employees B, C, and D 8 hours each to put together the same product of equal value, why would I want Employee A to work less? I wouldn’t. Employee A is not only efficient, but also creates value. Employee A is either smarter, more determined, or it could be something small like – doesn’t socialize at the office as much – but employee A is making me more money than Employee B. Encouraging Employee A to take time off would be analogous to taking your quickest and highest converting sales rep off of the sales floor because they have hit their goal. It doesn’t make sense to me.