As any good leader knows, motivation stands as one of the most valuable tools to improve employee productivity.

With so many ways to improve motivation, some are distinctly less obvious than others. Every company has a different dynamic, but more motivated employees simply produce better.

Bearing that in mind, companies across the globe constantly seek out new methods to reach that holy grail of optimal productivity.

The end goal of getting more work done per hour obviously holds the key to maximum profits. In the interest of more work done per week, many employers have fallen into the trap of chronic overtime.

Hours and Productivity

The mistaken belief that more hours worked equals more work done makes logical sense, on the surface. However, many factors play into the actual productivity of your employees.

Employees not only need to feel valued – which often includes benefits like medical insurance and a good 401k plan – but they also need to feel well rested.

This may seem obvious to some of us, but the concept often eludes decision-making managers who often become workaholics.

Along with non-stop corporate innovations, science also constantly discovers ways to optimize our lives, personally and professionally.

The Effects of Overtime

Recent research has proven that the trap of frequent overtime does more harm than good in the long run. This week, your 80-hour overtime employees may get more done than your 40-hour employees.

Checking the numbers, however, you’re almost guaranteed to show that they’re not producing twice as much work.

Your overall total amount produced may have risen but your per-hour numbers have fallen. This results in a less than ideal investment of time.

Raising the question of why overall work per hour reduces with overtime, the answer should come easily. Working 80 hours in a week is exhausting.

It is an insidious killer of focus, productivity, and motivation. Exhaustion accumulates over time.

Working a week like that does enough harm for a single week. But if done frequently, it results in reduced productivity over time.

The employee’s quality of work slowly diminishes, along with their speed and accuracy. Eventually, your 80-hour a week regulars will produce less than your 40-hour employees.

Long Term Impact

Research also provides evidence that even the standard full-time week of 40 hours already overworks our employees. It results in the gradual deterioration of clarity, speed, motivation, and morale.

We all know the feeling of dragging through the last day of work every week, and the struggle to get rolling again come Monday morning. This effect comes as a result of the 40-hour workweek and its surprisingly negative impact on long-term productivity.

The Case for a 3 Day Weekend

Evidence shows that reducing the standard workweek to 32 hours, leaving employees with the mythical 3-day weekend, creates optimal productivity per hour. As a result, a single 32-hour per week employee can produce more than the typical 40-hour employee.

This brings up the interesting and potentially far-reaching revelation that two 32-hour per week employees can produce far more than a single 80-hour per week schedule can.

Additionally, these employees prove more motivated, show higher rates of job satisfaction, less employee turnover, and even reduced sick days. All of this can positively influence both your budget and your company’s bottom line.

As more companies discover the truth behind the positive effects of making the 3-day weekend standard, the trend continues to grow globally. The transition from the antiquated idea that more hours directly correlates to more work produced presents a challenge for many.

Motivation and Strength

Backed by the scientific research and the ever-increasing mountain of evidence from companies utilizing this practice, the 3-day workweek may eventually become the corporate standard around the world.

Implementation of this idea can influence everything from team morale and employee motivation to your company’s overall profit margin.

It’s difficult to argue with the science-backed results shown here. Take a look at this infographic and see how powerful the benefits of this unusual practice can become.

What Do You Think About a 3 Day Weekend?

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Tiffany McAdams
Tiffany McAdams is a freelance writer and graphic designer for InvestmentZen that has an obsession with financing - she just got her first investment rental property and is eagerly saving up for a second. She loves the outdoors, especially skiing and kayaking, and has a knack for interior decoration.
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