The Most Efficient Working Hours In A Week

The Most Efficient Working Hours In A Week

The Most Efficient Working Hours In A Week

In order to grow a business, you must keep in mind ways of optimizing efficiency. Whether you are running a factory or an SEO consulting firm, you want it to grow. You should keep in mind that longer hours do not necessarily mean better production. In fact, recent studies show that working more than 40 hours per week could be extremely bad for your brain.

We live in a world where most people work Monday to Friday for at least 8 hours per day. With mobile technology, most people also tend to be checking and answering emails over the weekend, so they are working more, but not getting paid for their time. The most recent research coming out of the United States shows that working more than 25 hours in excess of your normal 40 hour week may affect your cognitive performance.

The tests, carried out in the US, looked at 6,500 workers and found that, when only working three days per week, those workers had better mental abilities. The study showed that there was an impact on intelligence, as well as memory, for those who worked much more than this.

The researchers consisted of experts from around the world. They tested 3,500 women and 300 men working in America above the age of 40. Three different categories were tested:  Perceptive ability, reading, and memory scores.

All three categories tested found that working 25 – 30 hour each week maximized cognitive performance. The research proved that it is far worse to be working too much than it is to do nothing at all. It also showed that working helps stimulate brain cells, but the psychological and physiological effects of working too much detrimentally impact the gains from the initial stimulation.

There is still a long way to go before conclusive evidence can point to an exact reason for this damage to cognitive function though.  The research carried out only investigated working hours and their effects; it did not go further into discovering the cause.

It did, however, find that the cognitive level of decline was the same for both women and men, and that the decline in the cognitive level of research participants did correlate to the length of time they worked.

There are two things that researchers agreed may cause this:  Lack of sleep, and stress.

Over the last few years, as jobs have returned to the U.S, studies into worker efficiency have found that stress has a big impact on the brain’s ability to produce hormones.  The study by the team of experts reports that working more than 40 hours per week triggers a loss in the brain’s neurons.

If a person does not get sufficient sleep, the effects are similar.  The brain’s white matter can decrease without enough sleep.

All research participants were older than 40, so the impact on younger workers is currently unknown.


Despite all the research and studies carried out around the world, the age of retirement is being pushed back.  In addition, the hours in an average work week are increasing – especially in the least developed nations.  Hopefully, governments, and companies, around the world will wake up to the fact that this is damaging the well-being of their people. Living a healthy and fulfilling life requires a balance between work and play.

John Hawthorne
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