Does it feel like Rihanna wrote a song about your life? “Work, work, work, work, work, work, he said me haffi dur dur dur…”. The rest of the song doesn’t even make sense, but you can relate to it somehow because the rest of your life is a blur. Ugh, that song is like your annoying colleague who creeps up on you while you’re taking your 30 min me time for the day. That 30 mins is crucial for your sanity!
We work way more than we should. Your fatigue and lack of focus without the assistance of boosting stimulants isn’t just a millennial thing. Your body is broken, and your mind is cluttered with bullshiz. According to studies you’ve been living your worst life. The long working hours has an impact on your mental, physical and relationship health.
In the United States, Americans are working an average of 47 hours a week. 40% of Americans work more than 50 hours a week. Even though some leave the office after they’ve survived their 8-hour working day, they’ve got mobile devices which constantly connects them to their bread and butter.
When phones buzz with a new mail, it’s hard to resist checking that inbox and not replying on the go. According to the Harvard Business Review people often feel the need to respond to work related communications after hours due to ambition, pride and proving that they’re valuable to their companies. Does it really add value to the company or is it slowly killing productivity and passion?
Well, research confirms that long working hours is the reason why you’re constantly sipping on coffee to stay awake. Work is your Jockey and you allow it to race you into complete exhaustion. Stop your workhorse behaviour right in its tracks! That’s what companies in Sweden, like Toyota, is doing. They are reducing working hours and making sure that their employees remain focussed.
A company in New Zealand, Perpetual Guardian, created a trail where employees worked 4 days a week and got paid for 5. It sounds ridiculous, but the results payed off. Over 8 weeks in March and April the employees worked for 4 full days and chilled for the remainder of the week.
Independent surveys gathered from researchers at the University of Auckland and the Auckland University of Technology indicated staff stress levels during the trial dropped from 45 percent to 38 percent, while work-life balance improved from 54 percent to 78 percent.
“What we’ve seen is a massive increase in engagement and staff satisfaction about the work they do, a massive increase in staff intention to continue to work with the company and we’ve seen no drop in productivity,” – says company founder Andrew Barnes.
Perpetual Guardian will make this 4-day structure a permanent thing, due to the positive effects of the trail.
The risk of heart disease increases by 67% for people who work long hours compared to people who work the standard 7-8 hours a day, according to a report by The University College London.
Lead researcher Nicole Au, who led a work time study at Monash University in Australia, said, “Extended work hours may reduce the time spent preparing home-cooked meals, exercising and sleeping, which are risk factors for obesity.”
Fatigue sets in when you work extended hours over a long period of time. Symptoms of fatigue from extended workdays include sleepiness, weariness, poor concentration, irritability and increased vulnerability to illness. These symptoms influence productivity and can cause mental breakdowns. We’re not robots, dammit!
Stop what you’re doing right now! Jump off the labour treadmill and talk to your boss about a 4-day work trail. Take time out of your busy schedule for recreational purposes. Remember all work and no play makes Jack a dull workhorse.