Stop Working Longer Hours

During our popular Consulting Skills for HR programme we frequently urge attendees to work less hours be more organised and disciplined with their time. That means being able to ‘contract’ with their internal clients about what can reasonably be delivered in what time frame and to what quality. We frequently find attendees in a whirlwind of activity, working late and skipping other important activity including holiday. Not only is it usually very inefficient but it’s no good for their health & wellbeing.

Writing in London’s Evening Standard, Russell Lynch notes that UK and Dutch workers are at the bottom of a European holiday league. British workers get a minimum 28 days off a year - but the Germans and the French rack up 33 and 36 days respectively. Longer holidays mean fewer hours, but Lynch says "The reason why the Germans can take an extra week’s holiday, work the shortest hours and still be the world’s fourth-biggest economy is they’re so efficient." Productivity problems for the UK desperately need to be turned around, he writes.

Maybe we can take  a lesson from our European neighbours?