Are you the kind of boss who gets in at 7.30 am, works hard till 7 pm and expects all your staff to do the same? Are you finding it hard to recruit people who want to? Trust me when I tell you that this approach is not so good. There is considerable evidence that in office work, long hours do not lead to increased output. And there are negative consequences to overwork. People get burnt out.
They lose motivation and creativity. If your organization gets a reputation as a sweatshop it can be hard to recruit new staff – especially millennials and returning mothers who want a good work/life balance.
Here are some creative ideas for combatting overwork and burnout.
How long people are in the office is not important. What matters is what is being achieved. Is the team making good progress against the strategy and objectives? Assembling, leading and motivating a great team is critical to success. You will not do that by cracking the whip. Create a working environment which is stimulating and challenging. Build a culture in which people can have some fun while focussing on the goals. Lead a team which enjoys coming to work.
Paul is a professional keynote conference speaker and expert facilitator on innovation and lateral thinking. He helps companies improve idea generation and creative leadership. His workshops transform innovation leadership skills and generate great ideas for business issues. His recent clients include Airbus, Microsoft, Unilever, Nike, Novartis and Swarovski. He has published 30 books on lateral thinking puzzles, innovation, leadership and problem solving (with over 2 million copies sold). He also acts as link presenter at conferences and facilitator at high level meetings such as a corporate advisory board. He has acted as host or MC at Awards Dinners. Previously, he was CEO of Monactive, VP International of MathSoft and UK MD of Ashton-Tate. He recently launched a series of podcast interviews entitled Insights from Successful People.