Working longer and harder isn’t the answer to increasing farmer productivity.
Working long hours – 50 hours or more a week – is a default response for many Kiwis when they’re under pressure. OECD research shows that 1 in 5 NZ men work 50 hours or more, compared to 1 in 10 in other countries.
The more you work, the less productive you get
Working long hours is actually counter-productive. Workplace productivity research shows:
- Output and productivity per hour actually declines once you reach 50 hours work a week.
- At least one day’s rest every week improves a person’s productivity.
- People who work 70 hours or more a week, or more than 14 hours in one shift, are at high risk of fatigue and burn out, which lowers your productivity.
A tired brain is an ineffective brain
Another batch of research shows that long hours can mess with your head. When people are tired:
- their brain doesn’t function as well
- they have trouble thinking through issues
- they find it harder to make decisions
- their coordination is impaired and they are at a higher risk of an accident
Being productive is about working smarter, not longer. It’s about managing workload and scheduling downtime for other activities. Recharge time gives farmers the energy to think clearly and perform at their best.