Working Too Much? Go Home Already!

Pamela Selle Wonders Why So Many People Stay Late at Work Even After Their Work is Done

Going Home Boosts Productivity

Q: I can understand how leaving on time helps my psyche. Are there ways it benefits my employer too?

Selle: Absolutely. I talked a (tiny) bit about how productivity goes down over time from over work, but after I gave the talk, I had some more time to look into the research. The fact is that research on productivity has shown for, oh, the last 100 years or so, consistently, that good managers need to send their workers home. 

Something got messed up at some point, and managers started thinking they needed to 'trick' their employees into working longer hours. Especially if you have a job that's a creative job, such as writing, engineering, policy -- many jobs today -- you have to stop working to continue being effective. One of the messages I liked best among the research and articles I found was "It's easy to work harder, it's harder to work smarter." I'd like to hope that I'm going to work smarter and go home so I can enjoy my life. That's what it's about in the end anyway.