Recently, the 5-hour workday has become one of the most-talked about ideas in the business world. Does it really improve productivity?
According to The Atlantic, the French have it right when they are required to take 31 days off per year. Moreover, these vacations serve one purpose - to avoid the tipping point of overwork.
"That's because, even though the amount of time you work tends to match how productive you are as if on a sliding scale, length of work and quality of work at a certain point become inversely related," the publication wrote. "At some point, in other words, the more you work, the less productive you become."
Florida State University psychology professor K. Anders Ericsson conducted a study in Berlin about how successful musicians spend just 90 minutes each day to practice. The study also revealed that these musicians had the tendency to take more naps throughout the day and took breaks whenever they felt tired or stressed.
Overworking has been known to lead to life-shortening stress as well as disengagement at work. Henry Ford solved the right problem when he cut his employees' schedules from 48 hours a week to 40 hours a week.
Speaking to Inc., Tower Paddle Boards co-founder and CEO Stephan Aarstol shared why he implemented the 5-hour workday to his employees and how it helped them be more productive.
"The type of work done today is knowledge-work: learning, idea generation, and communication," Aarstol said. "Thanks to technology advances, all of these things can be done in a fraction of the time they took to do previously."
He revealed that modern-day employees are only just doing about two or three hours of real work while taking eight hours to do it. Majority of workers today don't even use the tools that could boost their productivity.
"As a result, workers identify and use these productivity tools," he added. "There is pressure to not waste time so things like online shopping and engaging in social media just don't happen. The pressure to perform is heightened, which has made our employees teach themselves to be highly productive, creating a competitive advantage."