In my opinion, there IS such a thing as too much focus on productivity. The numbers repeatedly prove that Americans are among the most productive workers in the world, yet despite that, employers constantly want more, as though it were the be-all and end-all metric in the workplace.
Employees need to have periods where they are working above expectations, as well as periods where they’re just doing the regular amount of work, and even some times when it’s okay to goof off.
That’s right! I said it. Employers should build in fun for all parties — not just clients. The rewards in employee attitude, productivity and performance during deadline pressures are immeasurable. Why do you think that there are pool tables, video game consoles and play areas in technology companies? They know there is a definite ROI. In fact they’re counting on it for those times when those programmers need to play in order to be creative.
So why doesn’t this factor ever make it into the service sector? Workers who are standing all day or are using their bodies hard every day to do physically demanding work need to actually have this sort of time and fun reward even more. Why is it that employers like Disney forget fun when they plan their expectations for employees but still expect 100% buy-in? Now along with the abominable pay scale, long hours, and minimal respect or appreciation, Disney cast members can now be expected to be under the watchful eye of the ‘Electronic Whip’.
No doubt their executives will NOT be under a similar system. Too bad.