Longer working hours and the threat to whole person leadership

Research from Gallup has shown that the average American is working longer hours. Half of full-time staff work for more than 40 hours per week, with nearly 40 per cent working over 50 hours.

The average working week is now 47 hours in the US, but one in six actually spend 60 or more hours at work.

This has ramifications for the wellbeing and performance of employees, who are increasingly seeing their work/life balance eroded.

When the demands of a person’s professional life dominate, the individual is likely to see changes in what they eat, how they exercise, their stress levels and the quality of their relationships. This can grind a person down, affecting their resilience, ability to perform and, often, their attendance levels.

At Primeast we help organisations to address these ‘hidden’ issues in a variety of ways, working with senior directors and leaders in order to allow them to become their best selves and lead by example.

We work with senior leadership teams to ensure all stakeholders can be healthier, have more energy and resilience, and deliver on organisational/team objectives. This requires the transformation of organisational culture and the development of leadership talents.

Grant Freeland from the Boston Consulting Group explained to the Financial Times that making such changes to the way a company works is essential to create a better work/life balance.

“Most efforts fail if we aim for work-life balance as it’s superficial unless you change how work is done,” he said.

By making the right changes within an organisation, it is possible to improve the health and therefore output of all those within an organisation.

Indeed, researchers at the Surrey Sleep Research Centre have previously shown that getting too little sleep for several nights in a row disrupts several genes that are important for good health. These genes include those linked to stress and fighting disease, demonstrating the importance of getting a work/life balance to promote restful sleep and overall resilience.

Professor Derk-Jan Dijk, director of the Surrey Sleep Research Centre at Surrey University, said. “It’s an indication that sleep disruption or sleep restriction is doing more than just making you tired.”

To find out more about how Primeast’s approach to leadership development can help your organisation, visit the Primeast Leadership page.

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