This is self-evidently true for many jobs. E.g., if you pick apples for 40 hours, then even if you only pick one apple per hour after that, you will still pick more apples working 50 hours than 40.
We software developers, though, have an additional consideration: creating software bugs which can (easily) push the productivity of a given period of time into the negative, sometimes deeply.
In my apple-picker example above, this would be like the tired picker driving the loaded apple truck off a cliff, destroying all the apples picked in the first 59 hours of the 60 hour work week (along with the expensive truck).
That example is contrived and unconvincing for the apple picker case, though; nobody makes their tired apple pickers drive the apple trucks back via treacherous mountain roads after a hard day of work.
That's not the case for software development, however; looking at my own 20+ years of professional software development through the lens of an extremely rigorous scientific n=1 anecdatal analysis (which undoubtedly thrills the OP hehe), in my own career probably 75% of the negative productivity caused by bugs I've created was the direct result of code I wrote while trying to work more hours than I should.
I suspect this holds true for other programmers as well.
In his example of getting research funding, it's a step function: either you get funded (y=1) or you don't (y=0), and because you're competing with others, even a small output increase can take you from the 0 side to the 1 side.
1. A bachelor's degree in engineering, biological science, physical science, computer science or mathematics.
2. At least three years of related professional experience obtained after degree completion OR at least 1,000 hours pilot-in-command time on jet aircraft.
3. The ability to pass the NASA long-duration astronaut physical. Distant and near visual acuity must be correctable to 20/20 for each eye. The use of glasses is acceptable.
4. Astronaut candidates must also have skills in leadership, teamwork and communications.
Checking all the boxes on that list isn't particularly hard to do. However you aren't competing with the list.
You are competing with a 29 year old Rhodes Scholar with a PhD in Chemistry, who runs Ultramarathons, ran a 40 person volunteer organization in Kenya during her gap year, and manages a 200 person 50 Million dollar research lab on pluripotent stem cells at Oxford.
Now just change out anything there with whatever would be relevant for your line of work, and thats who you are competing with - give or take.
Capitalism tends towards winner-take-all systems, but not all winner-take-all systems are capitalistic. I find the example fitting.
> the red car may be cheaper if lots of people want it.
Also see the pharma industry, right? The US government isn't all governments either, in some countries parties actually rule together, compromise and whatnot. And considering getting money out of elections isn't even attempted in earnest, the question really is what is the tail and what is the dog here.
It just means things are a lot more "costly" for Blue and/or Blue things (like climate change policies).
But of course in the primary layer a lot of things become infinitely costly for Blue things. (Because they fall under executive rights.) But there are a lot of other layers. (State legislatures/governors, city level issues, and so on.) And though a higher layer can force things on a lower layer, but it's not zero-cost, so usually things settle into an ugly compromise.
Use an example of capitalism to justify an example of capitalism. If capitalism is a winner-take-all system, there should be endless examples.
What I wonder is: Is this really an intrinsic quality of capitalism? What causes this "winner take most" reward system emerging in some areas of the economy but not others? In many industries, multiple competitors can exist with stability and split market share, and in others, having multiple competitors leads to a blood bath where only one can survive, winning it all.
Hardly. The history of capitalism shows that absent government intervention to prop up companies, they rise and fall. When I started out, everyone was a-feared that IBM would inevitably take over the world. Then Microsoft dethroned them, and Microsoft was going to take over the world. Then Apple dethroned Microsoft. And on it goes.
There was Sears that dominated retail. Then Walmart shoved them aside. Now Amazon stepped all over Walmart.
See "The Innovator's Dilemma" by Christensen for a book full of examples.
There are plenty of counterexamples from before that regulation, and there are still some today (e.g. ISPs).
Name one :-)
A little disingenuous to pretend that never happened.
See "Titan" by Ron Chernow
I know what the popular wisdom is. But dig a little deeper and you'll find it is not correct.
> General Motors
was formed in 1908. The Sherman Antitrust Act was in 1890, so GM could not have been the reason for it.
...which, to clarify, was not my point.
That is, going back up-thread a bit, it's still clear that capitalism intrinsically encourages monopolistic behavior, and that "government intervention propping up companies" is not the cause.
In fact, I would go so far as to say that even if there were no capitalistic tendency toward actual monopolies, it would still have the same winner-take-all problem, merely due to the prospect of a "winner".
A prospect and an actual problem are two different things.
SO was never convicted of being a monopoly, either. A subtle but crucial point, and usually overlooked.
It's also a bit myopic to view companies as a binary monopoly/not monopoly. A company with 90% market share isn't a monopoly, but has most of the downsides of a monopoly, and likely is a monopoly within subsets of the market.
My point is, again, that in this case the prospect is what causes the problem.
The "problem" was that kerosene prices dropped 70% under SO.
The real problem was that Rockefeller was rich, and then (like today) a lot of people just can't stand the idea that others are rich.
If you're really interested in going beyond soundbites and understand what was happening, I really recommend Chernow's "Titan". Chernow actually agrees with you, so you can't argue his book is unfair. Chernow's opinions, however, are not congruent with his presented facts in the book. He's just so convinced of Rockefeller's evil nature that he is blinded by his own narrative :-)
dont you think its kind of upsetting when someone could improve someone's life drastically without any (practically speaking) detriment to their own. obscene wealth is upsetting to me, and i know lots of people who have it, and i dont hate them. so its not about the person, per se. i just find it extremely unfortunate, knowing first hand how things could be different, in an almost pareto improvement way.
right now there is someone who will die because they cannot afford proper medical care. the is almost certainly someone with a lot of money, doing nothing with it, that could fix that at no cost to themselves. thats a little upsetting right?
But to spell it out, the problem is that the winner-takes-all aspect encourages people to overwork themselves or their employees, despite the diminishing returns that brings.
Maybe you're just so convinced of capitalism's good nature that you were blinded to what we were talking about in the first place? ;)
Few define business success as erasing all competition. Success is making a good profit.
Out of curiosity in calibrating your definition of "monopoly", can you give an example of a monopoly (past or present) together with an estimate of their market share? Thanks.
Up until a couple years ago, in Washington State, hard liquor could only be sold through state stores. 100% market share.
The plumber's union is a monopoly. It is illegal to hire a non-union plumber. 100% market share.
Anyone holding a patent, trademark, or copyright has a monopoly. 100% market share by law.
Somewhat ironically, this fact actually has connections to the concept of dual variables in constrained optimization problems, the theory of which was largely developed in the Soviet Union for use in central planning.
A myth of capitalism is that the donkey can reach the carrot hanging from the stick if they work harder, that "almost all" can be won by those who are being driven to work more hours. However, this doesn't take into account that there are at least as many carrots-on-sticks as donkeys, and that carrots are cheap.
What isn't between those two poles?!
That's the myth of the "American Dream", not Capitalism per se.
Capitalism is more simple, if you have capital, you have control, and with control you can profit.
And I find (have found) that I'm much more inclined to do the boring things when I've finally exhausted my curious/creative mental faculties.
I've written about this here before, in summary:
1) Work has a cost to the endeavor too. Even with salaried workers.
2) If what you're doing can be boiled down to time-and-motion studies, you can always make cases where longer hours yield more "output". BUT pushing even these types of work beyond marginally has been found to incur large ongoing cost the mission. This is backed by research that has been done many times since WWII with thousands of subjects.
3) Then, what software developers do is NOT amenable to time-and-motion studies. So even the marginal increases in time working has an even greater case of dubious value.
Even not taking into account mistakes, there is another important factor to consider: you need to recover energy from one day to another. The more you work the more you need to recover and less time you have to do it. If you don't, you will be less productive the following day.
I think that for this reason it is reasonable to say that there is a limit after which the productivity start to drop, though it probably depends on the individual and on a number of factors.
Elsewhere, I've written how it may be better to switch between periods of very long hours and downtime rather than a steady pace:
You mean they developed depression and gave up having a healthy work-life balance?
Sometimes you've just got to put the hours and effort in to get the work done on time.
Now I quit very quickly after doing stupid hours a week. But I'd like to think the work produced was fine. Not that much different to a normal week. The work was all planned in detail, there weren't any big surprises, just lots of code to type in, lots of tests to write and run. I was just more tired.
The one that works best for me is for the deadline to be 4 hours and 15 minutes away.
I see similarities to another area where I have more experience: business meetings. I believe that most people are terrible at meetings held in the afternoon, either due to heavy lunch, or just because it's after 3pm and they are simply tired. A single meeting like this can cause great damage to the individuals and whole teams, measured in intangibles such as motivation, trust, momentum.
That logic presumes that the first 40 hours aren't affected by the additional hours. IIRC, one of the premises of the "sustainable pace" rule for Extreme Programming was that people know when they are being pushed to work a lot of hours and either consciously or unconsciously slow down at the outset (with the mind or body shifting out of a sprint-mode and into a marathon-mode).
On the other hand, the shortcuts people take while under deadline pressure seem more damaging, and people are more likely to work longer hours when under time pressure. And the cumulative effects of working while tired might result in worse results the next day, even if a single day doesn't do it.
But I'm just speculating. It would be interesting to see a study that tries to distinguish between these different effects.
Not necessarily. Imagine submitting a patch on 8 PM, when everyone has already been in the office for 10 hours. It has a glaring bug in a particular branch that's not covered by the unit tests in a way that coverage testing doesn't show, yet everyone is too tired to see that bug. Thus the patch gets greenlit and applied to production. Just as everyone is heading home to fall into bed, pagers start ringing because prod is on fire.
I can tell you in embedded devices that simply isn't true.
In a lot of embedded programming, you can cause real damage--short out boards, crash equipment, etc.
If I have been at something for too many hours, I may simply stop. I will certainly stop if I recognize that I just did something really boneheaded and simple. That means that I'm likely to continue doing boneheaded things and cause real damage.
And even if so, it can be mitigated. As a webdeveloper, when Im tired i do the most menial tasks which means that bugs introduced there are rare and not important.
I mean, our entire field exist for pushing menial tasks into computers. If you have as many of them to fill 50% of your work load, there's probably something wrong.
Besides, are you sure bugs in menial tasks are not important? When did you judge those tasks to decide this?
Studies found that crunch slows down only after few weeks of crunch and 40-50 hours a week had same product long term. He article implies different results.
"Studies found that crunch slows down only after few weeks of crunch and 40-50 hours a week had same product long term" 
Can people please stop claiming that "studies found..." without citations?
How about your 2 week total? Or 52-week total?
If weeks 2-52 are one apple per hour, 50 hours per week, you've done less work in more time.
40 hours is an arbitrary number that came from trade unionists demanding fair hours and Robert Owen's slogan:
“Eight hours labour, eight hours recreation, eight hours rest.”
I mean those two things: 8 hour work day and 8 hours of sleep have been considered to be the biological/natural requirements, when the research isn't there for it at all.
The reality is, some people can work for 100 hours while others can only work for 20 hours per week without without losing productivity.
This is why I'm sick of this stupid trope that nobody should be working 80 hour weeks. Guess what, I want to, that's how my body works, why are you trying to stop me from doing that? When I was in the military I would work 12 hour days every day and my co-workers would complain because I was "making them look bad" that they only worked 8-10. What? Go home if you want.
The kind of person you are should push you into those types of roles - not the other way around. A 20 hour a week capable person isn't going to last very long in a 100 hour a week job, and they shouldn't be going out for it.
I think the major contention though is that you can't realistically succeed and live comfortably anymore as just a 40 hour a week person, because all of those jobs are gone. So inevitably 20 hour a week people, get put into 60 hour a week jobs and then say the whole system is screwed up (maybe it is, I dunno).
- eating: 12-15 hours/week
- making food (or travelling to get food): 7-10 hours/week
- showering, shaving, grooming: 4-7 hours/week
- laundry, cleaning, house chores: 2-4 hours/week
- commuting: 5-10 hours/week
- waiting in line (checkout lines, customer service reps, Comcast/DMV/insurance, etc.): 2-3 hours/week
And that's for me, and I'm single. If I had children, add to that:
- taking care of children: 15-20 hours/week
None of the above counts as work, rest, or recreation. If work stays at 8 hours, that leaves very little time for rest and recreation.
Cutting rest beyond that is physically unhealthy.
Cutting recreation beyond that is both mentally unhealthy AND physically unhealthy (I get all my exercise in my recreation time).
The bigger issue is that this time is spread out pretty evenly throughout the day, so in practical terms it takes up every single hour that the kids are awake. What changes is that, as they get older, you have an increased ability to do other things in the in-between moments.
I think there's also an element of once you have multiple children you just don't have any extra time. As a result, all the inessential time expenditures get cut. For instance, neither my wife nor I spend any time whatsoever entertaining our children. We don't have the time and they can entertain themselves.
 - http://www.datadriventhoughts.com/2016/09/27/how-much-free-t...
And what if the 20 hour worker produces more than you in 80 hours? For many environments, pay is by hour because that's the easiest thing to measure. Or it's per annum (salary) and it's supposed to track some loose or arbitrary or indirect metric.
If you shake loose the norms of a 40 hour work week, you have an awful lot of reconciliation to deal with before we efficiently extract the optimal and earnest amount of labor from all workers and compensate them appropriately with respect to their output and not their hours.
The point is that people should be given roles and responsibilities commensurate with their personality type and then given the flexibility to execute their job as they see fit.
As usual, the difficult part is among the details.
No one's going to "stop" you. We're just not going to believe you when you say that's how many hours you work.
Have you been sleep deprived ? There's a clear limit under which you're useless. For an extreme instance, I lost sleep for 5 days and went borderline insane.
Maybe 6h of sleep is adequate but saying 8 is arbitrary bulls$t is... exactly that.
Often I find I compare whatever my current situation I'm in, with previous tough situations I've dealt with, and know that if I made it through those, then my current situation is tractable.
On multiple occasions in a previous life I've worked multiple 24-36 straight hours doing intense cognitive and physically intensive work for multiple crises in Korea, Iraq and other wartime places. So that's a good benchmark to compare to.
And yes, I've succeeded just fine on less than 40 hour weeks throughout my career. The obsession with stupidly long hours doesn't extend much into Europe, or Australia.
That's not a life.
* 140-168 hours/week --> almost certain death.
* 100-140 hours/week --> at risk of cardiovascular disease and many other serious medical conditions. Possible early death.
* 80-100 hours/week --> still super-bad for your body. Forget raising children, dating, getting married, or even making friends. You won't have time for any of those. Expect clinical depression.
* 60-80 hours/week --> you might be able to have meals with friends but forget having a life, hobbies, or anything outside of work. Expect depression and overall culture of unhappiness.
* 50-60 hours/week --> sustainable but not really fun. You can't join family or friends for dinner. Expect talented employees to leave because they'll find something that they enjoy more than being in your company.
* 40-50 hours --> reasonable level for long-term sustainability and retention
I consider "recreation" to be things that you are doing because you want to, and do not have obligations to do (of any kind, including but not limited to contractual, health, etc.).
I consider side projects (real side projects, not 20% projects) to be recreation. You're allowed to rest when you're tired, you're allowed to procastinate, you're allowed to take breaks whenever and however long you want, you're allowed to take your laptop to the beach, you're allowed to abandon them, change them, and do as you please with them. This kind of mental freedom is very, very important to qualitatively count as recreation.
If side projects evolve into a contractual obligation, then it becomes work by my book.
Exercise counts as recreation if you're doing it because you want to. It doesn't count as recreation if your work makes you do it (i.e. move boxes in a warehouse). It doesn't count if you're working 100 hours a week and spend 5 of those hours exercising in the office gym out of necessity for your health because you couldn't find time to exercise in a way that you find fun.
I hike for exercise. I hike because I want to, and nobody makes me do it. That counts as recreation.
* 30-40 hours
* 20-30 hours
If I "own" my work in some capacity, e.g. a freelancer, a co-founder, getting public recognition for my work, getting to publish papers in my name, getting to talk about my work in public, get the chance to open-source my work, then I'm happy working more.
If I work for somebody else, or some big boss always takes the recognition for my work, as is often the case in some large companies, then I'd probably be much happier on the <40 side so I have time to learn and build things that are truly my own, outside of work.
I think 20-40 might be a sweet spot for certain fields where creativity drives money. In those cases, rest and recreation time are paramount to work productivity.
For example, in your chart, I'm currently in the 60-80 hour a week range, split between a full time job and a side hustle. Personally, I've never been happier, I have a life outside of work, a beautiful girlfriend, time to meet with friends, etc.
It's just, I don't spend 5+ hours a day when i get home from work watching Netflix or fucking around on the weekends. Don't equate hustling with depression, unless you're just looking for an excuse to justify why you don't want to work harder.
It's very easy to work on a side project, or side hustle, or whatever you want to call it. I don't doubt that you're happier. Making things yourself is fulfilling and fun. But that is your free time & your social life. That is your choice, not your day job. You are misunderstanding what the 40 hours per week concept is all about.
The parent comment is correct; working 100 hours a week for someone else, for extended periods, is possible early death. That's not an exaggeration, it will compromise a person's health if done for long periods of time. It is definitely like that for many, many people. Have you ever worked more than 40 for a single job? How about 60/80/100 for longer than a week? Do you know what 100 hours at one job feels like?
If you have a life outside of your job and 20-40 hrs/wk side project, with time to meet friends, you might be working less than you think. A real 80 hour week is hard to maintain without any social life, it's enough time for meals an maybe an hour of social or alone time per day, and not much else. 80 hours/week is 11.5 hours per day, 7 days a week, on average, sustained. Factor in eating, sleeping, bathing and travel to & from work, and you have maybe 10 hours left. If you exercise, you're probably down to 5 hours of free time for the week. If you try to drive anywhere in those 5 hours, you'll run out of time before you get there, activities very close to home are the only sane option. At 100 hours a week, you only have time to work, eat, and sleep, there is physically no time left for anything else.
An employer of mine measured how many hours people worked during crunch, and found that almost everyone in the studio overestimated their own hours. I overestimated my own hours, and I've worked a real 80 hours a week multiple times before. It's not fun, and I did not have time for a social life. It's not maintainable for long periods, at 80 hours a week you're trading your entire life for your salary, it's not a good deal.
- Travel to national parks and state parks. Exercise during the day, do photography at sunrise, sunset, and at night
- Build funny robots at home that don't do anything useful but I learn a lot from. Through that I have also gained some ideas for potentially useful robots that I might hack at later that are orthogonal to the robots I'm working on for work
- About 4 software projects I have going, not intending to commercialize, but maybe release into FOSS if they materialize into something useful
- Learn to cook new dishes, especially healthy ones, so I can eat less unhealthy crap outside. Visit farmer's markets to get better-quality ingredients and support local economy
- Practice piano. Occasionally perform locally at meetups and things
- Review things that I spent years learning during my undergrad and PhD that I wish to not forget, for the sake of my future (e.g. quantum mechanics, quantum computing, quantum communication, signal processing, CS). Occasionally re-take past final exams or homework assignments to make sure I don't lose my skills.
- Learn new stuff online, watch lectures, read recent academic papers.
I don't have time for Netflix, and don't have too much time to socialize without purpose (although some of the above things I do with friends).
Having said that, there is shockingly little research or proof for any position, and if there was it can never be generalized to all people.
To my bosses and other non-programmers, I try to describe programming as doing math problems all day. I wonder what the history of hours is for clerks, architects, and other jobs more like ours.
I feel like I would be less tired if I just worked trouble tickets all day. Actually, writing a program too would be easier if that's all I did. Instead, I switch among writing a few different programs, working tickets, and the normal bureaucracy of emails, meetings, required training, etc.
I work with architects. They work as much as they want to but are paid salary. The minority walk out of the office after their 8 hours is up but many work late into the night and on weekends. They say it's their "industry standard" but, from my observations, it's a) lack of boundaries and b) poor project/time management.
Not to mention the amount of time studying to take their many exams to become licensed.
To me, that does seem to support the claim “research shows that 40 hours per week is the best”. I don't know who's claiming that overall output goes down the minute you hit 40, that's obviously exaggerated, so why take it so seriously? There's strong evidence that productivity starts to decline somewhere around 40ish, and it obviously varies by individual and situation.
I think the more common, and more correct claim is that 40-ish is optimal, rather than anything above 40 is a negative return.
That bit of data he referenced is for munitions workers doing a low-skill monotonous job - easy to measure productivity. Who would expect to produce solid high quality thought output for 40 or 50 hours a week? I'd be surprised if most academics & programers managed more than 15 hours of conceptual work in a week, the rest we fill with coffee & lunch, browsing the web, talking to people, and loads of other stuff that doesn't require much thinking.
The author's completely right about many of his points; this just isn't clearly defined or unambiguously supported by data. There are obviously some people out there rationalizing and mis-presenting the evidence in favor of a 40 hour work week. As with all studies, there are people who summarize incorrectly and decide that weak evidence justifies a hard line decision. But why get twisted over the worst arguments? Let's discuss the strongest arguments instead.
Do we need data to support the idea that 8 hours is enough? Productivity is only a tiny part of the equation, so this debate is academic. Why are we obsessing over unmeasurable productivity and ignoring labor & poverty issues? Do you need data to prove that when you work 12 hours a day, you physically can't have much life outside of work? The idea of an 8 hour work day is meant to work for everyone. It's guaranteed to be conservative, because it has to be good enough for teenagers as well as people near retirement, for single people as well as parents, for everyone.
1. Go read the linked article: http://ftp.iza.org/dp8129.pdf
2. It's about munition line workers in 1920 UK during the war.
3. The blog post claims generality based on this.
40 or 50 or 60 hours, i believe that if we could just eliminate the presentialism from our work life, build more trust with each other about being honest with our work – i think the whole research into how many hours we need to work will not even pop up. Everyone would be happy contributing their share of work in return for a paycheck.
If you work every hour of week 1, your output of week 2 will be drastically reduced. There is therefore some optimal balance between work time and recovery time. It may be 40 hours, or 20, or 80. It probably varies between tasks and individuals and situations.
Just don't fall into the trap of thinking that spending more time working is necessarily going to be more effective.
Sometimes the best thing you can do to get the job done is to stop working on it for a while.
This. I like to have several side projects at once so I can switch to another one when I'm stuck on the current one.
On the downside, this procedure made me question if I can actually work as a programmer professionally, where I don't have the liberty to just leave any task assigned to me lying around for a week (or a month). It worked out nicely, though, since I found that I can get my train of thought unstuck by discussing the problem with a colleague.
If you work in an open-plan office the 10 hours you do at night, at home, and on the wkend can be the most productive.
I've had months where I put out more real fires on a kayak, on vacation, than at my desk; people bother you when you're at a desk but they can't get to you on the water.
People ought to have more to their lives than their jobs, and working 50, 60, or more hours a week makes that difficult.
Personally, even if people had inexhaustible energy, I still would think it would be wrong to spend more than a third of your day at work. It so happens that it makes sense from an efficiency standpoint to, but I want people working under me to be able to have hobbies, families, and something other than their career.
Most work isn't like that. The rewards are continuous and ongoing. Meaning every task has captured value. If a loan officer closes 19 loans this month instead of 20, productivity is down 5%. BFD. Vs PhD student, complete 19 out of 20 required classes, no PhD. You totally wasted a couple of years of your life.
 Europeans historically are way more creditialist than Americans. Learning something isn't very helpful unless there is a credential to go along with it.
Depends on the field. From what I hear , what you describe generally holds true in the humanities.
In contrast, I have two friends who're submitting their PhD theses around now, and they already have a ton of tangible results: They're required to publish papers during the research period for their thesis. They got to speak at conferences because of their published findings. They collaborated with other researchers whom they met at these conferences. And that, again, fed back into more papers and a better thesis. Even if they didn't get their PhD (which I'm sure they will), they still have made a name for themselves in their respective fields.
I agree with you 100% that most work is not like that at all.
(Btw, most PhDs in Europe do not have required classes or, if they do, they tend to be pretty easy; it's the research component that's hard)
The solution to a sustained increase in output was to do 60 hr weeks in bursts, not continuously.
This is a point I strongly disagree with. Just the way some people need fewer hours of sleep than others OR some people can run further than others. I have found that people have vastly different ability to focus and personal drive.
Orienting around averages is a terrible way to develop a team and people. It also demotivates people that want to work harder and they end up leaving. Instead of setting an average, create an environment where people can push harder if they want to AND get incremental rewards.
I agree and my phrasing may not have been exact. I meant that if you need to pick a number for a whole group of people, then you look at the average.
This can be in the context of industrial production where you have thousands of workers and are forced to have fixed shifts (because you cannot run the assembly line without all the stations filled).
Or, in more modern example, a public sector bureaucracy where you cannot be very flexible as these things are negotiated with a union as whole.
I didn't expect anyone to argue for working more than 40 hours. But then again, I don't live in the US.
There is also the question of sustainability. Not only health wise but also the social system around one gets impacted imho. somewhere beyond 45-50h. More work directed output may well be possible but at the cost of weakening the support system and with that increased risk in times of crisis.
I'm willing to discuss this more in depth with the author once he's got a few grey hairs.
Maybe employers should be able to ban side projects for this reason.
The studies on game development teams found that crunch raise productivity of short (don't recall if 3 or 6 weeks) and productivity goes down only after.
This article does not seem to adress concrete studies nor their results - it just generally theorise about what might be wrong about them without knowing what is on them.
Do you have a citation? The post is mostly to address this constant claims that 40 hours is proven by science and no convincing citations are provided.
I am also writing in the context of self-managing knowledge workers who can manage their own time. I explicitly write that the flexibility we have may mitigate many of the downsides observed in mandated long hours. For example, I do work >40 hours, but I rarely have to wake up with an alarm clock. I can follow the occasional 16 hour day with a 10 hour sleep cycle and stroll into work at lunch time the next day feeling pretty relaxed.
In fact, I found few scientific articles on the subject and the few that I did find were not relevant (for some of the reasons in the text).
in a lot of ways, some businesses are already trying to take advantage of both options by using a mix of contractors/consultants and full time employees.
That's not so obvious in software development, where mistakes from yesterday or 5 years ago can mire you in unproductive work for hours or days.
But then I look at lines of code not as value produced but as a resource spent.