Longer hours at work are making us less productive, study suggests

As the line between work and life becomes blurred, the UK public is finding itself working longer hours in order to fend off the future where the two spheres are intertwined irreversibly. Putting in the extra hours in the office, in theory, is more productive than working your assigned hours and worrying about work at home.

We don’t have the data to discount the latter part of that statement but a new study has found that British workers “are spending longer at their workplace for little or no gain in productivity”, the Guardian reports.

Apparently the research wasn’t even necessary. Self-aware employers answered a poll with responses that suggested everybody is working longer hours than they used to but only one in ten people believe they are more productive – so what’s the point?

Well, it would appear there is a nefarious puppeteer lurking in the shadows causing the illogical working style; the culprit goes by the name ‘poor managerial staff’.

The sample of workers said “managers usually sought productivity gains through jobs cuts or simply doing the same tasks at a faster pace.” It turns out that only a minority of employees associated higher productivity with better pay and conditions.

The definition of productive is being able to produce a specific output in a measure of hours determined beforehand. National productivity dropped around the end of 2015.

So what’s the solution for the overworked/under-productive employees of the UK? Well, managers listening to workers would be a good start. One civil servant surveyed said: “It would be better to concentrate on improving quality, not quantity … [to get work] right first time rather than continually having to repeat or rectify botched or inadequate work which meets a so-called target.”

And this is the dagger through the heart of the issue. Quantity, on the surface, is seen as so much more impressive and is therefore lauded as the cornerstone of productive workers – this is just backwards.