When Is Productivity Bad?
There are 525,600 minutes in a year.
Yet, time still runs out when you look at your to-do list.
Society spends significant time stuck in a productivity loop. You begin and end the day with work on your mind. The recent corporate culture shift from qualitative to quantitative assessments accelerated the obsession over output. If our performance is measured by metrics, not motivation, the urge to work more increases. You’re invested in “doing more” for promotions and prestige.
Gradually professional commitments override quality time with loved ones. As the work-life balance dwindles, you start experiencing high stress and frequent burnout. You also work less effectively when you’re turning out projects mindlessly.
Is productivity bad for employees?
Overworking, perfectionism, and continuous focus on output over self-care can lead to toxic productivity. It can harm your overall health, cause distress, and affect your self-esteem. Anything you do seems inadequate when you keep fixating on things left undone.
Toxic productivity sneaks up in workplaces where output takes precedence over wellbeing. You might set unrealistic goals to impress colleagues or gain economic incentives. Alternatively, managers might enforce these expectations upon you. In both cases, you find yourself working on an endless to-do list. This can drain your energy in the long run.
Is productivity bad for employers?
Modern business models keep traceable metrics to assess company performance. The race to outrank competitors eventually becomes a narrative of numbers. Hence, human capital becomes a clog in an overworked machine. Quality of work can decline as fatigue, mental strain, and pressure take over an employee’s output. These factors can result in costly mistakes, as well as an actual decline in efficiency for the sake of productivity. Employees and companies may overlook crucial details to number tick and complete more tasks.
Now if an employee receives negative feedback after spending hours planning and perfecting their deliverables this can lower their morale. They may also start missing important deadlines when they can no longer sustain the level of productivity expected. Consequently you start to have a workplace that is losing interest in their work while experiencing a slow decline in their health.
Recognising the perils of toxic productivity is the first step towards fostering a healthier, more sustainable work environment. It's detrimental not only to employees' wellbeing but also to overall workplace dynamics.