“Work smarter, not harder” is the mantra of many a successful entrepreneur. Instead of putting in long hours of work on arduous tasks, great business leaders find ways to increase their efficiency so they get stronger, better results. You should encourage your employees to do the same by having them create objectives and key results designed to improve their productivity without causing them to burn out.
The Pitfalls of Working Too Much
Everyone has a vague idea that being a workaholic is bad in one way or another. Spending endless nights at the office cuts back on the amount of time people enjoy with their friends and family. Just think about the movies where an overworked parent misses his or her child’s softball game or dance recital and how disappointed the young one is. No one wants to be the bad guy in that scenario.
Working too much can also lead to burnout or serious psychological consequences. According to research from the University of Bergen in Norway, workaholics are significantly more likely to experience depression and anxiety or suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder or adult attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. In these cases, workaholism is a symptom of one or more issues that needed treatment.
Plus, working a lot doesn’t necessarily bring results. As Entrepreneur pointed out, the average adult needs at least eight hours of sleep to be productive. Even if they get the right amount of rest, people can only work for about 10 hours a day before they stop working efficiently. Beyond that, your employees have to put an increasing amount of effort to do the same level of work. At this point, they’re too tired to work harder, so what they do get done usually isn’t good.
Designing Goals to Work Smarter
Your employees can create OKRs that increase their productivity without keeping them chained to their desks. For example, one staff member might set an objective to reduce her amount of missed obligations. Her key results, which help her complete her objective, would be checking her calendar every morning and adding new meetings and deadlines as they arise. Another employee’s objective might be to increase the number of customer service issues he handles. Instead of working more hours, this employee’s key results could include reducing the amount of time he needs to troubleshoot a problem and more quickly providing customers with a solution.
Your employees don’t have to work longer hours to see greater results. By designing OKRs to help them work smarter, they can get more done while avoiding the moniker of workaholic.