SOURCE: Hogan Assessments

Hogan Assessments

July 10, 2012 08:45 ET

Why the 40-Hour Workweek Doesn't Matter

True Productivity Tied to Employee Engagement, Not More Hours in the Office Says Hogan Assessments

TULSA, OK--(Marketwire - Jul 10, 2012) - Does spending more than 40 hours per week in the office make you a workaholic, a high performer, or just a clock-watcher?

According to survey results released by Hogan Assessments, a leader in personality research, more than 92 percent of 600 respondents across multiple jobs and industries said they regularly put in more than 40 hours per week. Nearly 48 percent said that they work more than 50 hours per week. Are we trending back to pre-Industrial Revolution days where the workweek was six 14-hour days?

The argument has been made that more hours at work translate into greater productivity. The U.S. has one of the longest workweeks at 40 hours, a sharp contrast to countries such as Spain, Denmark and Ireland that average 31 hours per week. The results of Hogan's most recent survey reveal otherwise; it's not the numbers of hours worked, it's the depth of employee engagement that tips the scales in terms of productivity and enthusiasm.

"Given the demands of such a fast-paced economy and the fears that are residual from the recent economic downturn, these survey results aren't surprising," said Ryan Ross, vice president of Global Alliances at Hogan. "There are many industries where it's common to see 60-plus hour workweeks, and there are negative ramifications for being the one to leave 'early' when others stay late into the night. What is surprising is that the business world seems clueless as to the real issue: keeping employees engaged."

In fact, a recent Gallup poll revealed that more than 71 percent of Americans aren't engaged at their jobs.

"That level of disengagement is a full-blown crisis," Ross said. "Employees who are alienated (the opposite of engagement) hate their jobs, hate themselves and others while they are at their job, and are far less productive."

Conversely, of survey respondents who were engaged, 74 percent said they looked forward to going to work every day. The engaged group was also more likely to talk to friends and family about work, work outside of business hours because they want to (as opposed to the disengaged group, which were as likely to work outside the office, but because they had to or were afraid not to), willingly work more each week and believe they enjoy their job more than their friends and family.

"The results of our survey are clear," Ross said. "There's no doubt that today's demanding, fast-paced business environment requires the willingness to put in extra effort, including working longer as needed. Engaged employees do so more willingly, and even enthusiastically. If companies want to get the productivity from their employees, there isn't a magic number. They need to pay attention to employee engagement and foster the recruiting practices, leadership training and corporate culture that support it."

A complimentary copy of Hogan's latest survey on workaholics and engagement can be downloaded from http://www.hoganassessments.com/sites/default/files/Are_You_A_Workaholic_R1.pdf

About Hogan Assessment Systems
With more than 25 years of experience, Hogan is the global leader in providing comprehensive, research-based personality assessment and consulting. Grounded in decades of science, Hogan helps businesses dramatically reduce turnover and increase productivity by hiring the right people, developing key talent, and evaluating leadership potential.