Reduce your work hours, Double your productivity

Someone once introduced a new practice in india and wrote the book “Employees first” which mentioned to prioritise your employees who will prioritise your customers and business. When he went to china to give his speech, they did not believe him and instead he asked “how would you like to double your profits”. Im guessing that they still did not believe him after that.

In europe, some places experimented with reducing work hours without slashing salaries. Some got improved productivity and quality while some had no gains. Long ago in the past, Ford was the pioneer in reducing work hours without slashing pay and improving output, which sounds impossible in an industry dominated by factories and manual labour at the time.

The major key to improving your productivity is to improve your rest. Make sure to get quality rest even if at work as fatigue and drowsiness slow you down. You’ll do far more work if you use half an hour of your 8 workings hours to nap then if you worked 8 house straight fatigued/groggy/sleepy without a coffee break or nap as the work moves at a very slow pace. Google knew this, that’s why google employees are free to determine their own work ethics and schedules where the work hours don’t mean a damn unlike traditional offices that follow factories where 8 hours would mean 8 hours staring at a screen and keyboard. You still do need to “go to work” as separating your workspace from non work stuff is crucial for focus as despite covid making us work from home, flexibility has become more important and hopefully more and more will realise that the office is not a factory, your brain is more important here than your limbs and your brain isn’t infinite in capacity and endurance either.

Getting good rest to freshen up is important and how and how long differs between people. For me an ideal nap takes 15-30 minutes but my department manager refuses to believe that and instead insists that his own 5 minute nap is more than enough. I’ve had days where I got features finished on the day with no one to stop me napping while on most days which I’m not allowed to nap or walk around work just never got finished as I couldn’t focus. Many companies do not believe this especially asian companies that penalise you if you take the initiative to take action to improve your work. A lot of times these initiatives are misunderstood and you are then micro managed into oblivion with old ineffective traditional methods forced upon you.

The key to doing well with mentally challenging work is to be able to focus well which requires good rest. Its not possible for the mind to focus 4hours straight as those experienced suggest splitting the 8 hour work day into 6 hours work, 2 hours rest split into 4 sessions of 1.5 hours work and 0.5 hours rest. However as you could expect since I work for an Asian company, this went down horribly. You must un-stress yourself after doing a lot of mentally challenging work otherwise your productivity drops significantly for a while after with harmful effects outside work. This is why work stress related suicides are higher in Asia than other places.

Getting a good rest outside work can be problematic. Family or financial issues can disrupt your rest, and so do many other things that do not operate legally as some companies that offer services hound you when they don’t provide said service like regus. The stresses of daily life can be impossible to avoid and your work place should be considered like a 2nd home seeing as you’re spending 1/3 of your time there. That’s why it’s important for workplaces to allow their employees to get comfortable and not inspect them if they’re sitting comfortably relaxing trying to think they aren’t working and inspecting everything that’s open. Sleeping in your chair or at your desk isn’t as effective compared to bean bags for instance and bias in how one performs an activity is harmful. For instance if one relieves stress by watching a video at his work place in an Asian company, he is called out in a really bad manner compared to going off somewhere and watching it on your phone even if you had no speakers. The inability of staff to rest as they need creates turbulence in the workplace that builds up over time and can cause serious problems.

Unfortunately for most, culture at work is prohibitive towards mental capacity and career growth in said fields like computing where developers who do not get freedom in how they work suffer mentally, in productivity and ability to learn. This unfortunate workplace ethics disaster will only get worse as the demand for developers increase and lack of willingness for companies and non tech people to learn and keep up in order to keep up with the rest of the world and not lose their developers or fail in their computing projects. This negative trend will continue unfortunately as more invest into software and other fields that require high mental capacity and productivity while Japan has showed us how an overworked under rested society fares in the modern world introducing more individuals with mental problems as the practice continues.