Work life Balance

How many hours you should work a day for Productivity and Balanced work Personal Life

Are you also feeling overworked, especially since we all started Working from home after the pandemic? Everyone including big corporates has been wondering how many hours of work is optimal for me to stay productive. Some companies like Nike are giving employees a week off for mental health check-ups.

In this article, we will try to get an answer following some of the experts who are in the field of the happiness index are renowned life coaches.

There are multiple studies that have been conducted to arrive at the optimal work hours for a week or day. Some open questions are a 4-hour workday ideal or Is it acceptable to work 70 hours a week?

How many hours a week is ideal for Productivity

The ideal time management based on a study done by US time management professionals has concluded that a 38-hour workweek is ideal for productivity. It has been proven already that Increased working hours don’t necessarily contribute to higher productivity.

A similar 2014 Study by John Pencavel, Stanford University, found that after a 50-hour workweek, employee output drops drastically and then falls to a cliff after 55-hour workweeks. The study further adds that someone who works 70 hours a week does not produce anything with the additional 15 hours. Even more important, it argues that individuals have lower hourly output if they don’t take at least one day off each week.

The average working day of the participants was 8.3 hours. It was found that there was little time between those who felt they had enough time and those who felt pressed by time. Those who felt that they had less time, worked 8.6 hours while those who felt more pressured by time worked for just 7.6 hours.

To avoid feeling overwhelmed, a 7.6-hour workday is ideal. This would be equivalent to a 38-hour week.

According to a US survey, 48% of Americans feel overwhelmed by their work schedules and 52% feel that they are under significant stress due to lack of time. This is probably why the ideal four-hour workweek is attractive, even though it may not be possible for everyone.

The workweek of 38 hours is similar to that of Denmark, where most people feel the happiest. That Scandinavian nation has been ranked in the last eight years among the three happiest countries in the World Happiness Report.

However, this does not mean that Danish people are not hardworking. They work a minimum of 37 hours per week. Office workers usually finish at 4 or 5. This allows them to maintain a balance between work and home life.

According to NYT bestseller Author Dan Buettner, who introduces himself as a happiness expert, reviewed data contributed by more than 20 million people around the world through the  Gallup-Sharecare Well-Being Index. He had conducted extensive field research in the happiest countries in the world and concludes, When it comes to your job, try to work part-time, 30 to 35 hours a week.

Buettner went even further and recommended six weeks of vacation per year, which he believes to be the best amount for happiness. He said that if this is not possible, then all vacation time should be used.

He referred to the survey that Glassdoor conducted in 2017 and showed that 54% of Americans stopped taking half of their annual rest days. Two-thirds of Americans, 66%, also reported working when they go on vacations. This figure is higher than the 61% who were surveyed in 2014.

According to Buettner, the ideal weekly work would be around 30 hours, with a month and a half of the vacations per year. This is something many people wouldn’t find practical. Laura Vanderkam, a time management expert, believes that 40 hours is the ideal amount of productivity, happiness, and abundance of time. A more realistic goal would be to work slightly less than this.

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