Tony Schwartz has an article on the Harvard Business Review titles “The Productivity Myth“. In it he explains the paradox of Americans working 10% fewer total hours but producing almost as many goods and services.
While some in government have called this “extraordinary”, he has a simple explanation. Fear. Everyone is doing more because they are afraid they will be the next person to lose their job.
This short term thinking however, comes at a price.
“It’s not about generating short-term, superficial productivity gains by using fear as a motivator and then squeezing people to their limits. Rather, it depends on helping leaders to understand that more is not always better, and that rest, renewal, reflection, and a long-term perspective are also critical to fueling value that lasts.”