The top-producing workaholic is a mainstay in the annals of real estate, but new research is suggesting that the 80-hour week may not be all that admirable.
It’s one of the more common memes in real estate – more work equals more income, that by working beyond what is expected, and stretching your hourly work week far beyond the typical 40-hour framework, your earnings and success will rise in tandem.
That’s been the conventional wisdom for some time, and indeed, many top producers wear their “workaholic” tendencies like badges of honor; yet, recent research on work habits has been coming to a much different conclusion – that in the modern work world, less is actually more, and that working less hours is more beneficial to your business.
Here are three main findings to consider:
1. Quality of Work – One of the biggest opponents to the workaholic schedule is Inc.’s Geoffrey James, who explained that workaholics merely operate under the impression that they are accomplishing more, when really, the work they produce is of substandard quality: “The workaholics (and their profoundly misguided management) may think they’re accomplishing more than the less fanatical worker, but in every case that I’ve personally observed, the long hours result in work that must be scrapped or redone.”
One of James’ favorite examples is Facebook CEO Sheryl Sandberg, who leaves the office every day at 5:30 – and is certainly no stranger to success; her net worth, by last check, hovers around a very hefty $1 billion.
2. Quality of Life – James based his ideals on a 40-hour work week, but new research from Denmark goes even further, suggesting that a 25-hour work week can be as effective as a 40-hour. The reasoning? Quality of life. Working just 25 hours a week, the researchers explained, allows employees more time for not only their kids and family, but themselves, as well, and fosters a much healthier, higher quality life that ultimately yields greater productivity at work.
3. Quality of Purpose – Finally, there is the reason behind all those extra hours; are they really going towards any tangible, sincere goal? Timothy Ferriss, who authored The 4-Hour Workweek, recently explained that guilt, more than anything else, is the primary driver for over-working: “Guilt that you’re not working hard enough. Guilt that you’re being lazy. Guilt that you’re not paying your dues. I’m all for hard work when it’s applied to the right things. But only when it’s applied to the right things.”
In the end, you’ll want to pursue the work schedule that works best for you and aids you most appropriately in achieving your goals; however, it may behoove your business to avoid the “more hours for more hours’ sake” approach.