Please stop “work shaming” me with your work/life balance nonsense.
Carmen Sample
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Carmen, you claim “$12+ million” in revenue from the “over 200 millennials” that you employ! That’s a mere $60K in revenue per employee. Frankly, if that is the best you can do with employees you expect to be working extraordinarily hard for 80 hours a week, either you’ve done really bad job of picking what business to be in or or you’re doing a terrible job of managing that business.

I’ve had a good bit of experience in managing people over the last 40+ years and I can assure you that for the vast majority of people, once they “work” much more than 40 hours per week, their productivity starts to go down dramatically. Employees may spend more time at the office, but the time they spend there is less and less worth paying for. Everyone gets tired eventually and employees who aren’t allowed to balance work and non-work life tend to simply do more of their “living” on the job site. (i.e. They take more breaks, socialize more with others, etc.) They may be “at the office” for more hours, but that doesn’t mean they are actually “working” longer hours.

At some point, when people have actually worked too long, their productivity gets so low that you would have gotten more from them if you had forced them to stop working sooner. For most employees, you’ll get more out of 40 hours than you’ll get out of 60 or 70 hours. (i.e. At some point, each additional hour produces negative output.)

There are a small percentage of people who can and do maintain high productivity for much longer than others can. However, that group is much smaller than most people think it is — and, most folk who think they are in that group aren’t actually in it at all…

As a manager, you’re doing a terrible job if you think you can build anything other than a tiny, temporary team composed exclusively of these “long-hours” workers. They are a very limited resource. They are very hard to find and they are typically expensive — or at least they deserve a great deal more than you can afford with your pissant $60k/employee revenues. They also deserve to be appreciated by their management. That doesn’t sound like the sort of thing that you’re likely to be able to do…

To do a good job of managing, you must figure out how to get the job done with more readily available resources. Once you’ve done that, then perhaps you might also figure out how to benefit from the special “long-hours” folk within the context of a business and strategy that doesn’t otherwise require them. If you do anything else, you’ve built a fragile business that probably depends more on your luck in finding long-hours workers than on your management skill. In other words, you haven’t built a “business,” you’ve simply built a “bet.” But, gambling ain’t business… (There is a difference between “taking risks” and “gambling…”)

A business like the one you seem to describe should be recognized by everyone as a business that has reckless and unreliable management. Not the sort of thing a rational person would invest in. You don’t need “better employees” you need better management. If you really do have a pool of such extraordinary workers, it would make sense for someone to figure out how to keep them while also finding them better management.