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Should Workers Put in More Hours Than Managers?

Do Employees Put in More Time Than Their Managers?

The urge to impress your management and demonstrate your dedication to your career can result in long hours at the office, whether you’re just out of college or beginning a brand-new job. “Hustle culture,” a type of excessive workaholism that romanticizes seemingly nonstop effort, has become particularly popular among millennials.


The notion that workers must put in extra time to impress their employers has come under question recently. Long hours and a poor work-life balance can result in burnout, issues with mental and physical health, and making mistakes at work that could have been avoided. Additionally, putting in long hours doesn’t guarantee that you’ll be a better worker; according to a recent study, supervisors can’t identify the difference between workers who put in 80 hours per week and those who merely appear to.

Should workers put in more hours than their managers do? According to experts, working overly long hours is unproductive for both managers and employees. Continue reading for advice from business executives who concur that quality and balance, not long hours, should be your priorities.

“Managers should set a good example for a healthy work-life balance. Junior employees often don’t want to leave before their managers because they’re worried it will look bad. If you’re a manager, try to be out the door at a reasonable hour, and resist sending after hours emails unless absolutely necessary. Employee burnout is costly to the company and stressful for your team. As a manager, your team will take cues from you, so make sure you’re sending the right messages and maintaining a good balance.” – Jordan Duran, Founder and Designer at 6 Ice

Quality and Quantity Are Not the Same.

“It’s a mistake to assume that someone who is working longer hours is necessarily doing better work. In fact, there’s a lot of research that indicates productivity and quality begins to decline after a certain number of hours. Focus on the quality of your work, not the number of hours spent at the office. And remember that work-life balance is crucial, not just for our mental and physical health, but for our productivity as well. You’ll produce better quality work if you’re maintaining a healthy balance and coming to the office refreshed.” – Chris Gadek, Head of Growth at AdQuick

Change the work schedules

“Unsustainable work hours is typically a sign of an organizational problem, and shouldn’t be encouraged. Industry practices vary, but there has to be a realistic understanding of what can be accomplished without burning people out. Adjust work schedules, if necessary, and break up long shifts if people are regularly staying late. For some industries, it can be helpful to rotate employees more often to make sure they get enough time off. People typically aren’t efficient or productive after a certain point, so make sure you prioritize health and balance.” – Riley Burke, Growth Marketing Manager at Ohza

Use realistic timetables

“Managers should be on the lookout for burnout, and adjust timelines if employees aren’t able to complete tasks on time. Be realistic about how long it will take to complete a project or task, and communicate often to make sure you can adjust the timeline if needed. It’s important to create a company culture that prioritizes communication and balance, so that your team feels comfortable raising concerns about their workload.” – Ann McFerran, CEO of Glamnetic

Avoid Making Mistakes

“Overwork tends to lead to more mistakes, and it ends up hurting productivity over time. When people are exhausted and overworked, they tend to miss important details or misread situations that require tact and precision. If you want to be a strong member of your team, maintain a reasonable schedule and take time off to rest and recharge. You’ll spend less time correcting mistakes and apologizing for misunderstandings if you’re working reasonable hours.” – Jason Sherman, Founder of TapRm

Manage Your Time Effectively

“If someone is continually working longer hours than everyone else, there may be a time management issue. It might appear that they’re being more productive, but really they’re just catching up on work from earlier in the week. If your workload is reasonable, and you’re continually staying late at work, take some time to assess the way you manage your time. There are a lot of resources that can help with time management, whether it’s project management software or calendar reminders, and it can help you stay on task and make sure you’re finishing your work within a reasonable timeframe.” – Miles Beckett, CEO and Co-Founder of Flossy

Avoiding burnout

“Working long hours, regardless of whether you are a manager or lower level employee, can lead to burnout and less productivity. Employees should be working enough hours to get their responsibilities done without being overwhelmed and stressed. Working longer hours can eventually lead to health issues for employees, like stress, exhaustion, and even heart problems for employees, which leads to rising costs in insurance for companies. Managers and employees should work together to decide how many hours need to be worked to complete work in a reasonable amount of time.” – Nathalie Walton, Co-Founder and CEO of Expectful


Even if you have a job, put your health first.

“There are a lot of negative health outcomes associated with overwork, and it should be avoided both for employees and managers. In the short term, long hours may lead to ergonomic issues for employees who are engaging in repeated motions. Workplaces have to prioritize health for the entire team, and that means adopting reasonable schedules and work hours. If someone is always working late, it’s a sign that they may be overworked and their work load should be reevaluated.” – Will Watters, Co-Founder and Creative Director of Western Rise

Begin the Day With the End in Mind

“This sounds basic, but I’m convinced that many people don’t leave work on time simply because they don’t set the expectation that they will. Instead, they simply go with the flow of the workday, working on whatever comes their way and neglecting to block time on their calendar for priority work. Then, at the end of the day, there’s still a pile of work to do—all because they didn’t plan for 5 PM. So, when you arrive in the morning, identify the time you want to leave that night. Put it on your calendar, set an alarm on your mobile phone, or simply make a psychological commitment to that departure time. – Lea McLeod, Coach and Consultant at LeaMcLeod.com

Everyone has phases of being overworked, but if you’re consistently putting in long hours, it might be time to reconsider how you’re handling your task. In many businessesworkaholism is the norm, and it might be challenging to stop sending emails when everyone around you is still working. Have an open discussion with your team about how your workload may be efficiently handled for long-term productivity if you frequently put in lengthy hours. Numerous studies show that having a realistic schedule that prioritizes a healthy balance can make you a better employee in the long term.

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