Slow down and improve your health and job

Slow down and improve your health and job

I spent a lot of my career fighting for a good work/life balance for myself and encouraging it in others. I’m not sure if it had much of an impact but it was a fight worth fighting. And there’s research to back up the fact that working too many hours is detrimental to productivity and health.

The reason we have eight-hour work days at all was because companies found that cutting employees’ hours had the reverse effect they expected: it upped their productivity.

The Compelling Case for Working a Lot Less—BBC

One meta-analysis found that long working hours increased the risk of coronary heart disease by 40% – almost as much as smoking (50%). Another found that people who worked long hours had a significantly higher risk of stroke, while people who worked more than 11 hours a day were almost 2.5 times more likely to have a major depressive episode than those who worked seven to eight.

The Compelling Case for Working a Lot Less—BBC

I recommend this video of Carl Honoré, who wrote an excellent book called In Praise of Slowness. It’s brilliant.

I think it should be required reading for every manager in every high-tech company in Silicon Valley. You want a highly-productive, dedicated, passionate, inventive, creative workforce that wants to stay at your company for the long-term? Then read this book.

I won’t mention any names, but I recently sent a link to this video to several senior VPs and the only one that responded thanked me, but mentioned they didn’t have time to finish it. The video is less than 20 minutes long!