Employee productivity is at an all-time high — but is it too high?
Employees (at least those who’ve held their jobs throughout this recession) are working harder — and more hours per day — in hopes of avoiding the chopping block.
And that could mean trouble, according to a new study from the University of Glasgow.
The study of 6,000 British civil servants suggests that individuals who work more than 10 hours per day are 60% more likely to develop heart disease than those working seven hours per day.
In fact, during the study, 369 participants either had a heart attack or were diagnosed with heart disease. Some of the heart attacks were even fatal.
Would these results carry over to the U.S.? The experts involved with the study say “yes.” Reason: There’s little difference in the work being done by the British civil servants from what people do in the average workplace here in the U.S.
According to the study, no matter where you are, people who work longer shifts are more likely to have poor health conditions.
With so many companies unable to add staff, what can companies do to lower employees’ workloads and help prevent health problems?
A few of the suggestions offered:
- If scheduling isn’t centralized, it pays to monitor whether any employees are working longer in certain departments than others — or whether any employees work in other locations once their shifts have ended. If they do, this may support the need to create a centralized scheduling system or add timekeeping tools to ensure no one is being overworked.
- Make sure deadlines are clear and realistic. This can have a big impact on efficiency. If deadlines aren’t clear, it can contribute to massive swings in the amount of hours employees put in from one week to the next.
- When possible, give employees some control over their schedules — either by letting employees chose the shifts they want or by asking for their preferences on when they’d like to work.