OVERWORK & Research shows it does not lead to more productivity … but enthusiasm does.

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: Overwork is actually not more productive. In this research cited in the Harvard Business Review, it was discovered that people who worked 80 hours a week were not perceived by managers to be more productive than those only pretended to work 80 hours a week. Subsequently, perception of enthusiasm and commitment is actually more important to managers than overwork.

Why Some Men Pretend to Work 80-Hour Weeks

“…overworked and underfamilied”
by Erin Reid, April 28, 2015.

In many professional jobs, expectations that one be an “ideal worker”—fully devoted to and available for the job, with no personal responsibilities or interests that interfere with this commitment to work—are widespread. We often think of problems with these expectations as women’s problems. But men too may struggle with them: my research at a top strategy consulting firm, first published in Organization Science, revealed that many men experienced these expectations as difficult to fulfill or even distasteful. To be sure, some men seemed to happily comply with the firm’s expectations, working long hours and traveling constantly, but a majority were dissatisfied. They complained to me of children crying when they missed their soccer games, of poor health and substance addictions caused by how they worked, and of a general sense of feeling “overworked and underfamilied.”

Two Strategies for Cutting Back

… My research revealed that men were just as likely as women to have trouble with these “always on” expectations. However, men often coped with these demands in ways that differed strikingly. Women who had trouble with the work hours tended to simply to take formal accommodations, reducing their work hours, but also revealing their inability to be true ideal workers, and they were consequently marginalized within the firm. In contrast, many men found unobtrusive, under-the-radar ways to alter the structure of their work (such as cultivating mostly local clients, or building alliances with other colleagues), such that they could work predictable schedules in the 50 to 60 hour range. In doing so, they were able to work far less than those who fully devoted themselves to work, and had greater control over when and where those hours were worked, yet were able to “pass” as ideal workers, evading penalties for their noncompliance…

But not all men who resisted the firm’s mode of working did so in ways that permitted passing: some men asked for the firm’s help in reducing their work hours, including requesting access to the same accommodations typically proffered to women. These men were treated very differently from the men who managed to pass: they were marginalized and penalized, in the same ways that women who reveal work-family conflict have long been…

Read more at … https://hbr.org/2015/04/why-some-men-pretend-to-work-80-hour-weeks