I will fly swift and true straight to you, like an arrow
Just to be where you lie
Meet my quest do my shambling best, to be near you
Where you lie.
I’ve found peace.
In your arms.
Gentle Storm. ~ From Elbow’s song “Gentle Storm”
As an aerospace manufacturing company that specializes in the CNC machining of complex metal parts, we go to great lengths to level load our schedule in an effort to avoid overtime. On occasion, customer demand suddenly increases and it can be very difficult to respond without incurring overtime due to the amount of time it takes to bring qualified staff online.
While accumulating overtime through spikes of demand is unavoidable, I’ve never understood companies that do so as a matter of course.
If you happen to be a purchasing professional seeking to source work or a candidate seeking employment, I’d exercise caution if the company you are considering routinely requires regular overtime of it’s employees.
There are a number of reasons for concern, lest this article becomes too wonkish, I will simply give you one:
Above a certain threshold, the relationship between output and hours worked is nonlinear.
In other words, as I’ve clearly observed in my own business, once you exceed a certain number of working hours in a day/week, your output per hour will decrease.
John Pencavel’s study titled The Productivity of Working Hours does an excellent job of supporting these observations. By reviewing data collected during WWI in British munitions factories, Pencavel found that:
- Past 49 hours per week, output rises with hours at a decreasing rate (i.e., productivity goes down).
- The absence of a day of rest decreases productivity.
- Night work was no less productive than day work.
Although some may take issue with applying conclusions drawn from a hundred-year old dataset to today’s workplaces, by considering recent studies of accidents, illnesses, work fatigue, and work stress, Pencavel suggests things probably aren’t a whole lot different today.
Couldn’t agree more.
Speaking of the British, let me leave you with a video from some music I mentioned last week. Off of Elbow’s new release Little Fictions, their song “Gentle Storm” features a few recognizable faces in their video.
This is one of those albums where, the more I listen to it, the more I like it. That said, I have yet to decide how it compares to earlier releases (e.g., The Seldom Seen Kid). By the way, I don’t understand why Elbow hasn’t received more airplay here in the States. They are a fantastic band and, while they aren’t likely to ever show up in Tucson, if they do, I hope to be one of the first to buy them a round.
Video not displaying properly? Click here.