Working Hours and Productivity

Topics: Working time, Employment, Employment compensation / Pages: 3 (545 words) / Published: Oct 13th, 2010
The advent of globalisation has radically altered the contemporary workplace and placed considerable focus on the rights of employees. While the majority of opinion acknowledges the need of employees to gain fair pay, holidays, appropriate rest and sick leave, the reality is that some employees lack these basic requirements. Furthermore, these employees have particular issues in their life to balance the demands of their work and domestic life. This essay will argue with the fact that longer hours may have detrimental effects on work life balance and productivity.
Work life balance has been defined as a phenomenon whereby optimum prioritisation between work and life aspects are achieved (Maxwell & MacDougall 2004). Nevertheless, many employees are unable to achieve an appropriate work life balance and this causes serious impacts on the health and individual wellbeing that effect work productivity. Achieving a good balance between work and life is critical because losing the balance means that an employee is more venerable to stress, anger and depression. Moreover, effective work-life balance encourages employees to work harder and discourage them from quitting their jobs. In economic terms WLB is important because improved commitment and motivation of workers, reduced absenteeism and turnover, reduced stress and fatigue, diminishing returns from additional hours, and reductions in unproductive or idle work time.
Increasing working hours may appear as a magical solution to increase productivity. However, Shepard & Clifton (2000) research show that longer working hour resulted in decreasing productivity. . More working hours can mean increasing fatigue rather than increasing productivity. On contrary, decreasing working hours enhance WLB and productivity,( Bloom et al 2006). Increasing working hours could negatively influence WLB , which means less family meeting, personal life and even leisure. This will affect his/ her productivity at work and could result

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