I've read that working excessively long hours hurts productivity. However, I also know that a large majority of people do not truly love their job. So, if these studies sample randomly from the population, only a small proportion of those sampled would truly love their job. I know from personal experience that if I do something I don't really like for a long period of time, I will shut down mentally and the productivity will suffer.

I'm wondering if there are any studies out there that look at the relationship between output and hours for people that are incredibly passionate about what they're doing?

  • it seems unlikely, how would you do such a study and it remain unbiased, you'd basically be asking for biased people to contribute.
    – Kilisi
    Jan 30 '16 at 7:00
  • 3
    This is entirely opinion based. Some people are effective in less hours, some people work long hours and are ineffective.
    – Jane S
    Jan 30 '16 at 9:01
  • While not off-topic here, I think this question may be more suitable for Skeptics.SE.
    – Belle
    Jan 30 '16 at 14:03
  • 1
    I truly love my job. I truly love my wife. And I truly love my health. Guess in which order.
    – gnasher729
    Feb 2 '16 at 8:53

This is just from personal observations. I doubt there are studies available because you would be asking for biased people to participate which would basically give you a biased result.

People who do love their work often lose track of time and are extremely productive. Point in case would be a couple of game designers I know who often stay up until the early hours working on their game. I know craftspeople who are the same when working on projects that really get them interested.

I work very long hours myself, I don't get that excited over my work although I like solving problems, but it's all about $$ for me, and I do like those. My productivity is very high, easily double or triple any of my staffs even when doing the same tasks (I'm more efficient and experienced so that makes a big difference as well).

So all in all I would say productivity over long hours doesn't suffer when the motivation and concentration is kept high enough.

  • 1
    I don't think that targeting a sample to a group biases the study but makes it only valid for these group
    – llrs
    Jan 30 '16 at 19:39
  • @JoeStrazzere I agree, there's plenty that don't have the motivation, I read the question to just include those who do work long hours and are motivated/passionate about their work.
    – Kilisi
    Jan 30 '16 at 20:59

The statements like "Working excessively long hours hurts productivity",etc are derived from a normal condition, which contains more people who are forced do that work than because of "passion".

So, few people who started loving what they do and who do because of "passion", "interest" (e.g. hobby) are more productive.

It must be interesting to note that "guinness records" are always broken only by people who are passionate about it. Do we need any more study to prove this????

So, "Working excessively long hours hurts productivity" does not apply for people who are "passionate" about that work.

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