Systems and complexity

What does the research say about work-life balance?

Global corporate giant Amazon’s culture of overwork has been revealed in a New York Times exposé. RealKM has previously looked at the gap between the Amazon depicted in the exposé and the perceptions of its CEO.

Does overworking employees really improve productivity? Dustin Moskovitz, Facebook cofounder and CEO and cofounder of software firm Asana, explores working hours and productivity research in a post on stories and ideas site Medium:

The research is clear: beyond ~40–50 hours per week, the marginal returns from additional work decrease rapidly and quickly become negative.

Moskovitz recommends cultural change, saying that he wishes he had achieved a better work-life balance while he was at Facebook. He dismisses the notion that this would have made Facebook less successful:

Actually, I believe I would have been more effective: a better leader and a more focused employee.

Bruce Boyes

Bruce Boyes (www.bruceboyes.info) is editor, lead writer, and a director of the award-winning RealKM Magazine (www.realkm.com) and currently also teaches in the University of NSW (UNSW) Foundation Studies program in China. He has expertise and experience in a wide range of areas including knowledge management (KM), environmental management, program and project management, writing and editing, stakeholder engagement, communications, and research. Bruce holds a Master of Environmental Management with Distinction and a Certificate of Technology (Electronics). With a demonstrated ability to identify and implement innovative solutions to social and ecological complexity, Bruce's many career highlights include establishing RealKM Magazine as an award-winning resource for knowledge managers, using agile and knowledge management approaches to oversee the implementation of an award-winning $77.4 million river recovery program in western Sydney on time and under budget, leading a knowledge strategy process for Australia's 56 natural resource management (NRM) regional organisations, pioneering collaborative learning and governance approaches to support communities to sustainably manage landscapes and catchments, and initiating and teaching two new knowledge management subjects at Shanxi University in China.

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