It's the weekend. What you are you planning to do?

Catch up on emails? Prepare that presentation? Finish those reports? Get caught up on the administrative tasks that weren't finished this week (or last)?

If you're a leader, chances are you take work home on nights and weekends. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 38% of leaders do (Bringing Work Home).

It's not only leaders. If you have a bachelors degree, receive a salary, or aspire to leadership - you're taking work home too.

Leaders Take Home 2-Hours of Work Daily

These same studies show that you're taking home 2-hours of work each day and weekend. Most likely those days are Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.

(That's because Monday you're mostly caught up, and you at least give yourself Friday night to unwind.)

An alarming trend is the leader, who puts in extra time at home, expecting their employees to do the same. Not only expecting, but evaluating employee loyalty based on compliance.

Case in point: I've worked for leaders who grinned ear to ear as they saw emails from my account coming in at 2:00 am. I've had managers schedule 7:00 pm meetings. Others 9:00 am Saturday meetings.

Is That Extra Time Paying Off?

You're putting in a lot of time. You're asking your people to put in a lot of time. But is it paying off?

Actually, no.

A Stanford validation study of a prior work study (The Productivity of Working Hours), found the magic work week number to be 48-hours.

  1. Working more than 48-hours in a given week results in diminishing returns on work output.
  2. Working 7-days straight results in damaging effects on work output.

That's true for leaders. That's true for front-line employees.

Long Hours Don't Equate to Success

If you're one of these leaders, it's time to squash the notion that fast-growth requires long hours all day, every day, every weekend. The opposite is true. You're holding on to tradition and folklore, not sound wisdom.

No doubt there will be times when great effort and hours are required. But that's the exception, not the rule.

Take the lead. Take the night and weekend off. Encourage your employees to do the same. You'll be more refreshed, sharp and on-point if you take your nights and weekends off.

So will your employees.