Does long working hours translate to real profits?

These are the 10 most influential brands in the world according to the April 2, 2013 article by Kochie’s Business Builders:

1. Google

2. Microsoft

3. Apple

4. Facebook

5. Visa

6. Coca-Cola

7. Samsung

8. YouTube

9. MasterCard

10. P&G

After I saw this result, I am puzzled because there is only 1 Asian Company on the list. It can’t be because most Asian businesses have the tradition of working overtime. Longer working hours means higher productivity which many Asian businesses deeply believe. So, based on that theory, it should have more Asian businesses on the list.

We also can see most of the companies on this list are American businesses and most American businesses do not promote working overtime. I think for many Asian business owners, this list must be wrong.

The True Productivity

There are a lot of businesses out there still believe working overtime can increase productivity but fail to realize productivity should not be measured by how much is accomplished alone, how much time spent on fixing the mistakes and revising bad ideas should also be considered.

For example, if a set of construction drawing normally requires 7 days to finish but you push your designers to finish it in 3 days, maybe your designer can finish it in 3 days as you requested, but you might want to consider if any error or bad design has occurred due to the fatigue your designer sustained because of long working hours.

If your designers spent 3 days to finish the drawings but spend another 5 days worth of work on correcting mistakes or stupid designs, arguing with contractors/vendors, and apologizing to the clients, then you must calculate the total time spent on this construction drawing set as 8 days, not 3 days anymore. This sounds like a no-brainer, but many employers out there are still ignoring it and deeply believe by working overtime, they can get more things done and fail to realize it is just absolutely an illusion.