For many employees, the idea of a 40-hour work week is a thing of the past. Smartphones and other forms of technology now keep us connected to work 24/7 and, as a result, the lines between work time and personal time are completely blurred. It is easier than ever for employees to become workaholics and “burn the midnight oil” responding to client and business emails or working on projects. Many employers may think that these workaholics are great news for their business productivity and profitability, but they need to think again.
Josh Tolan analyzes the issue in his article, “It Doesn’t Pay for your Employees to be Workaholics.” Tolan explores a few reasons why workaholic employees can be bad for business. Here’s our take on the topic and why employers need to ensure their employees have a healthy work-life balance.
The relationship of time and productivity does not correlate over the long term. In other words, more hours in the office chair doesn’t necessarily translate into higher productivity or high-quality work. As Tolan shared, research proves that long hours kill profits, productivity, and employees. In the past, the 40-hour work-week ensured efficiency and employee morale, but this balance is fading away.
Without a work-life balance, employees become burnt out and can become less productive. Additionally, when employees work long hours, the lack of sleep can inhibit their efficiency, creativity and energy levels for the next work day. Don’t let employees get trapped in this vicious cycle.
Encourage employees to have a work-life balance. Create an environment where employees do not feel pressured to stay late and sacrifice time with their family or their personal interests.
Overall, the goal is to have happy and engaged employees. Research proves that happy employees are better for business, and maintaining a work-life balance is a key part of employee happiness. The Harvard Business Review confirmed that happy employees have, on average, 31% higher productivity, 37% higher sales, and three times higher creativity. Additionally, Tolan mentions research from Harvard Business School that confirms employee work-life balance had positive impacts on team communication and accountability.
The key takeaway is companies who embrace and support work-life balance can expect high productivity levels over the long term and happier employees. This will help increase employee retention and have a positive impact on the bottom line.
Do you think workaholics are good or bad for business? Let us know in the comments below!