Improving Organizational Productivity

Improving Organizational Productivity

Trying to beat the early morning city traffic to work, you wake up hours earlier in order to get yourself prepared for the days work. You get yourself dressed up probably after having a few bites from breakfast. Eventually, after overcoming the hurdles along the way, you make it to your workplace just on time. 

You probably look at your timepiece, and it’s just a few minutes before  8.00 am. Then you have a sigh of relief as you gradually walk down to your work space. Scenes like this are common to millions around the country and globe.

Punctuality is desired in almost any well structured organizations. It says a lot about the organization and also a lot about the individuals. The punctual are always considered serious and organized as against the late comers who many may feel are carefree and lazy. 

In the process of enforcing punctuality, many organizations have made the basis of their appraisal to include early coming, leading to a system where the emphasis shifts from efficiency and results to time clocking. Once the time has been clocked, any other thing that happens is secondary. This kind of system is seen in many government-owned or run institutions. Workers strive to come early, and nothing else like work matters.

In 2014, the Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos had this to say about what it feels like to play in both Real Madrid and Bayern Munich.

“The mentality here at Madrid is different than at Bayern,” Kroos was quoted as saying by Sport Bild.

“When training started at 10:30 at Bayern, everybody would be ready to go at 10:30. Things are a bit different here. I got used to it pretty quickly, though. Everything is a bit more relaxed and loose.”

And considering what has happened in Real Madrid where things are loose and relaxed, in this period, is remarkable in stark contrast with what has happened in Bayern Munich, in the same period. Real Madrid won three Champion League titles consecutively and four in the last six years. They remain the only team in modern  Champions league history to achieve such a feat. Is it mere coincidence? How come a team that apparently doesn’t take punctuality so seriously become the most successful team in the history of European football?

Results Matter

Organizations built around results are more successful in the long run under certain conditions. This does not imply that a result oriented organization should not or cannot be time conscious. Rather more time consciousness should be  encouraged because more work hours in a productive setting should lead to increased productivity.

Many private business owners and entrepreneurs work with a more flexible time schedule, and tend to put in more in the end than most places where signing in is the most important daily event.

In other words,  punctuality should not be the end, but only a means to an end. Organizations should be both time conscious and result oriented as leaving one out of the question will lead to inefficiency. 


Who should work overtime and why?  Ideally, people should get paid twice the usual rate for every additional hour added overtime. In well structured organizations, this is usually the case. But then, it is difficult to say who overtime actually benefits or whether it is worth the while. Considering the fact that the increment in additional income is only marginal, people thinking of working overtime should think critically about it  since there are health implications.

According to an extract from a 2018  HealthDay article :

“…Researchers said they found that working 61 to 70 hours a week increased the risk of coronary heart disease by 42 percent, and working 71 to 80 hours increased it by 63 percent. Heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide, with more than half a million deaths each year in the United States alone, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention”

Another reason to consider if working overtime is worth it is the fact that only one who has a stake in a company should put in the most sacrifice. Yes, there are situations where necessity demands that it is inevitable. Like in emergency situations, it is understandable then.

Moreover, one considering working overtime as a means of earning more should also find out if such additional input wouldn’t benefit him more if he invested the same time in a personal productive economic venture or even in pursuing a hobby. 

Overtime isn’t always associated with increased productivity. Working more hours may actually lead to decreased efficiency. Consider that in Germany, the largest economy in Europe, the average worker there only spends 35.6 hours a week on the job. That is lower than the 40-hour week or 48-hour week common in so many other places.

Take for instance, In 1926, industrialist Henry Ford  transited from the usual 48-hour week to a 40-hour week, and surprisingly discovered that his workers were actually more productive in the new schedule than when they were working a 48-hour week. Funny how that is true.

In summary this article has aimed at highlighting the effects of punctuality and overtime on work efficiency. I hope the perspectives have helped.

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