In our global economy, its is known that Americans are the ones with the most working hours. Entrepreneurs log the most working hours of any other profession. People think that the more hours you put in, the more you get done. The more that you get done, the more money that you will make. This is not always true. Sometimes it is about working smarter and not harder.

Actual Numbers

According to statistics, Americans work more hours per year than any other country. Not only that, but the hours Americans work goes up every year. The average American full-time worker reports working 47 hours per week. Also, 40% of those surveyed said they work 50 hours a week or more. No one can deny our culture is built on hard work. But, do these longer working hours actually amount to greater productivity?

Diminishing Returns

All of these long working hours don’t actually make us more productive. There are tons of studies proving this fact. First, let’s describe the law of diminishing returns. This economic principle says that there comes a specific point in which dedicating more resources to as task does not yield a relevant result. A great example of this is an assembly line. If you normally have 6 employees working, adding an extra 4 would make more products per hour. This would be shown in your annual revenue. But, if you would add an extra 50 workers you wouldn’t see the same return. These extra employees would just get in each other’s way. This would increase the chances that they would be aimlessly standing around waiting to to their part of the task.


The more working hours people take on, the more stressed they become. Not only stressed, but sleep deprived and memory impaired. Studies have shown that working too much takes a toll on a person. Also, these long working hours can actually cost your company money. They take a big toll on a person’s health. Your company can see an increase in sick days, turnovers and increased healthcare costs. These negative consequences can also cut into productivity. Some studies have shown that employees working 60 hours a week are actually less productive than employees working 40 hours per week.

What Is The Right Amount Of Hours To Work?

As all of the evidence shows, it’s not productive to work 80 hours a week. Unfortunately, entrepreneurs need to work more than 20 or 30 hours per week. After many studies, its has showed that a 40 hour work week is the magic number. This is a ballpark range. The top of the scale is a 50 hour work week. Any more hours than this, your productively goes way down. This 40 work week actually started in 1914. Employees at that time were working at least 10 hour days. Henry Ford decided to try a new tactic. He cut his employee work day to just 8 hours. It increased productivity exponentially. It actually became a a national mandate because it improved worker well-being so much.