Will Long Working Hours Ever Rule the World?
Does overwork work?
In a world dictated by visibility and revenues, if your product and service is well known, you rule. There are many motivators for pulling in long working hours – ambition, enjoyment, anxiety, greed, the lure of short-term rewards, emergency situations, etc. Of the reasons listed, apart from a few, the rest are all avoidable – you may even term them as being misguided.
Research has well established that people are more likely to make mistakes when they are tired. When organised labour first restricted factory owners to limit work hours to 10 (and then 8 hours), performance and output actually increased. Mistakes decreased considerably. This finding can be extrapolated to the present day workforce as well. Work might have changed, but people haven’t. Time-off actually makes teams more productive. Only 1-3% of the population can sleep 5-6 hours a night without suffering some performance drop-off.
Overwork and the resulting stress can lead to all sorts of health problems such as impaired sleep, depression, performance anxiety, diabetes, impaired memory and heart disease. Study on work-related causes of deaths finds long working hours to be the biggest occupational risk factor. The joint study by the World Health Organisation and International Labour Organisation estimates nearly 2 million people a year die from work-related diseases. More than 80% of work-related deaths are due to primarily cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. Long working hours are the single deadliest occupational risk factor accounting for 750,000 deaths each year!
By working too hard, you tend to lose sight of the bigger picture. Long working hours is a story of diminishing returns – if you keep at it, you will progress.. but on things that do not matter.
Work smarter, not harder
Working long hours does not essentially ensure better results. In fact, it is not the hours you put in your work that counts, it is the work you put in the hours that counts. You can only rule by working smarter.
- Restrict working hours
Long hours of work take a toll on the mind & body. Overwork affects efficiency. Ensure that you have adequate rest hours so that your mind and body can be at their sharpest best.
- Plan better
Stressed working is not productive. Planning and drawing out clear cut goals, targets and action plans can help you work better and more efficiently.
- Key is to automate
A software is your single biggest friend to reduce long working hours. By automating routine tasks, you can save a lot of valuable time. This saved time can be used for more productive work.
- Form an efficient system
Systems and processes streamline the workflow. When everyone is aware of their roles and responsibilities, work progresses faster and smoother.
Not everything needs to be done by you. Be it to a team member or to a software, delegating ensures work flow is uninterrupted. It saves you time.
Pull long days, but not routinely
Despite all measures and precautions, there will be situations that will require you to pull long hours. But with adequate planning and preparation, those situations can be lessened. But when the situation does arise, take steps to cope. Be aware of the situation and ensure that the situation is an exception and does not become a norm.
Smarter work is and will stay on to be the norm. Work efficiently during working hours. Dedicate the required time to your family and friends. Have proper rest. Remember, value has a value only if its value is valued.
Adopt and implement software tools at your law firm to automate processes. This saves time and resources and at the same time improves the efficiency of your organisation. A case management software like Manage My Lawsuits saves time by automating the processes like case updation, filing, document storage, reminders and alerts, managing calendar and to-do list, etc. It also gives you greater access and transparency and ensures that your team functions more efficiently.
Work smarter with Manage My Lawsuits.