While Henry Ford was chasing his dream “affordable car for everyone” in America he came up with a work-model that defies the mindset- working long-hours and multitasking lead to productivity and better results. Ford’s work-model gave Ford Motor Company a boost in sales and production, in other words, a huge success. The change in work-model helped the car series Model T in 1908 revolutionized the industry.
Henry Ford was the first person who dreamt that everyone should have a car irrespective of financial status. Since the establishment of his own company in 1903, Ford was on the same. Eventually, Model T in 1908 was launched and his dream came true. Between 1908 and 1927, Ford would build some 15 million Model T cars. It was the longest production run of any automobile model in history until the Volkswagen Beetle surpassed it in 1972.
The credit to this success goes to Ford’s change in work-model. The change in work-model was that the workers have to work only 8 hours instead of 9. The workers did not have to work on different parts. Instead, parts were divided into workers where they were manufacturing only the parts that they were assigned. Moreover, the wages of the workers increased from $2.25 per day to $5 per day which is double of the previous one. No one was paying workers such a huge wage.
This new work-model actually made the success. It decreased the amount of time it took to build a car from 12 hours to two and a half. In result, it lowered the cost of the Model T from $850 in 1908 to $310 by 1926 for a much-improved model.
Think of it in another way. The demand for the car was high and Ford was determined to produce more cars in less time. Instead of increasing working hours and asking workers to be multitasking (that almost every company does today) he did exactly the opposite. In result, Ford was able to meet the demands of his customers. This is the perfect example for businessmen, CEOs and entrepreneurs if they are looking for an increase in sales and production.
What multitasking does to us?
Stanford University conducted an experiment in which 100 students completed a series of tests. Social scientists at the university concluded that those who tried to do some simultaneously were easily-distracted and had little control over their attention levels compared to those who simply completed one after the other.
Waste of time: When we multitask we basically switch from one task to another that involves quickly switching attention between tasks. Switching our focus takes time and we make more mistakes when we move between tasks.
Distractions: We become more mentally distractible when we allow ourselves to automatically respond to the next email, text message, or intrusive thought. In the end, we regret for not able to complete even one task efficiently.
Lost of productivity: Some researchers suggest that multitasking can actually reduce productivity by as much as 40 per cent! We think that we are producing more at a time however, in reality, we are just being unproductive at all tasks that we are trying to do simultaneously.
What working long-hours does to us
Lead researcher Dr Huong Dinh from the ANU Research School of Population Health said about two in three Australians in full-time employees worked more than 40 hours a week. Long-hours is a bigger problem for women who do more unpaid work at home. The research shows that the work limit for a healthy life should be set at 39 hours a week instead of the 48-hour-week limit set internationally about 80 years ago.
Less time to eat and self-care: Long work hours erode a person’s mental and physical health because it leaves less time to eat well and look after themselves properly,” Dr Dinh said. Which is absolutely right. People don’t get time for anything else than office work. They come home to sleep only. That is the reason employees are frustrated today.
No or less time for loved ones: No matter how rich you are but if you are not having good times with your family and loved ones you are not happy at all. And in reality success is not just about money, but happiness too. However, companies hardy care of their employees in this.
No improvements: Ask those who work long hours at the office. They actually do not get time to improve themselves. They don’t get time to think, read books and introspect whether they are going closer to their goals or not. Self-improvement and thinking are important to perform exemplary in any profession.
Missing out life experiences: After all life is just not all about work. There are many things that need to be explored an experienced in life to become a better and creative person. Robin Sharma in his book ‘The 5 am Club’ writes that if the ratio of Work and Rest is not good then creativity and life experiences are at risk.
Share your experiences with long work hours and multitasking and what you think of this. Get away from the illusion that multitasking and long hours yield better results and increase productivity.