Posted by Tim Stobbs on March 28, 2012
For the last month I’ve been under going an interesting experiment: I’ve been working full time at my day job. Why? Long story, but the summary version is I knew March was going to be nuts at work so I offered them a deal. I moved my three usual Friday’s off in March into April after the long weekend (which then gives me a week off *grin*). Yet during March I have realized: I don’t think I can work full time anymore.
It’s only been a month and I’m like exhausted all the time, but this is likely from a good amount of my evenings have been busy with school board meetings. So I’m running at full steam at two of my jobs and I can really feel it taking a toll on me. So in some regards this month has proved again what I already know: I really can’t work full time at my day job while I do the school board thing. It’s just too much for me to handle well, which is good since my usual situation is working at 90% of the time at the day job.
So this got me thinking about other people that talk about being tired so often and I wonder if it is just too much work? Do people end up mindlessly on the couch in the evening because their bodies and minds just can’t handle 60 or more hour weeks? Do we all have a right amount of work that we should be doing each week?
I have to think that could very well be a reason, but I think that concept is particularly interesting is I know my productivity at work has gone down this month. I’m used to having a rather good energy level all the time so I tend to be fairly efficient at finishing tasks. Now I notice that isn’t the case as much. So while I’m at work more right now, I would rather doubt over the month that I am getting a lot more done. I’m running out of steam now so this last day off worked I think will have diminishing returns.
In the end, I wonder how much more productive people would be if the standard work week dropped off by 4 or 8 hours? Employees would be happier, employers would have less wage costs (not in all cases, but some) and I have to really wonder if nearly the same amount of work would get done in the long haul (short term it wouldn’t work as you likely already have too many employees in burnout). So what are your thoughts on a reduced work week for everyone?