Working Less Means Working Better, Says Study

It's no surprise that cutting back on work and taking regular breaks is beneficial for workers, but a four-year study from the Harvard Business School found that less work also benefits workers—and workplace productivity—in less obvious ways.

Photo by pinkiwinkitinki.

The experiment enforced predictable time off to help its subjects get rid of the feeling that they've got no truly free time from work—what they called "bad intensity"—taking steps as small as requiring that each consultant got at least one night a week when they wouldn't be called or pinged on their BlackBerrys after 6pm. The results:

Working together to make sure each consultant got some time off forced teams to communicate better, share more personal information and forge closer relationships. They also had to do a better job at planning ahead and streamlining work, which in some cases resulted in improved client service, based on interviews with clients.

I'd hope that most of you are already getting at least one such day a week if not five, but maybe I'm out of touch. Let's hear how your schedule compares—and whether you feel like you've got enough predictable, uninterrupted time away from work—in the comments.

If You Need to Work Better, Maybe Try Working Less [WSJ]


Comments

    I guess I can see how this would work, feeling overwhelmed with emails and 'To-do' list that keeps piling up.

    I myself, work two jobs... My daily 9-5 and my personal business.

    Most days, I work during the day 9-5 I will come home for work and relax for 1 hour, I will then start to work on my personal projects from around 6-pm to 11:45pm, taking around 4 x 15 minute breaks during this time.

    I will take one night off a week, weekends are different as I will not work during the day, only at night time from around 6pm.

    Following the above has helped reduce my feeling of 'all I do is work' and maintaining some time to myself on weekends during the day where I will get out and do things.

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