» ‘Long Hours Backfire for People and for Companies’

Sarah Green Carmichael, writing for The Harvard Business Review:


There’s a large body of research that suggests that regardless of our reasons for working long hours, overwork does not help us. For starters, it doesn’t seem to result in more output.

Back when I toiled away in the SQL mines (amount of gold found = zero), I found the best bosses were the ones who expected long hours approaching project deadlines and then made sure to give you liberal time off during down times. The worst expected you to work like a dog year-round regardless of what was going on.

Based on my experience, I feel like you certainly can be productive with periodic bursts of long hours (I don’t think I would have finished my part of The Visual Guide to Minecraft if not). But expecting long hours on a regular basis with a commute on top of it is simply legalized indentured servitude.