Posted on May 29, 2013 by TNS Consulting Team (via Scott Spayd)
What boss do you know that tells you to go home rather than staying at the office? Well, believe it or not, it is the smart managers that are encouraging their employees not to log long hours at the desk. Organizations are now being encouraged to push their employees to not work over hours if it can be avoided.
An article in the New York Times brings about an important reason as to why some employees stay late at work. Who wants to be the employee that leaves the office at 5 p.m. when everyone else stays for a few more hours? Employees that even feel that they are caught up for the day sometimes sit at their desks wasting time to avoid being “that employee who leaves early.”
I know I found myself in this situation at a job I had in college. I felt frustrated because I had completed by work for the day on time every day but felt the pressure to stay at the office because I felt bad. I am still not sure why I felt bad, but I believe I also attributed leaving early to being unprofessional or stepping out of the norm.
The truth of the matter is that employees should feel okay with leaving whenever they complete their work for the day within reason. After all, each individual employee is responsible for their own jobs, so managers should trust that their employees are putting in the necessary time to complete their work.
The article also goes on to mention that different managers interpret their subordinate work hours differently. For instance, some managers look at employees that put in extra hours and come into the office on the weekend as “go-getters” and dedicated employees. Other managers may view this behavior as concerning as it may indicate a future problem with burnout.
The summarizing suggestion from the article is simple and easy. Employees should devote as much time to their work as they need to. For instance, if an employee can leave on time every day and get their work completed, there should be no finger pointing about not working enough. And if there are some employees that need to work longer hours in order to finish their work, this should not be frowned upon either.
What are your thoughts on long hours and productivity?