GMAT : Analysis of An Issue
30. Companies benefit when they discourage employees from working extra hours or taking work home. When employees spend their leisure time without producing something for the job, they will be more focused and effective when they return to work.
Discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the opinion stated above. Support your views with reasons and / or examples from your own experience, observations or reading.
According to this statement, companies would be well advised to discourage employees from working overtime or from taking projects home, since employees are more productive when they return to the job after a break from their work. While I agree with this policy in general, on some occasions the company stands to benefit more from asking employees to forego leisure time than from insisting they be rested and refreshed when they come to work.
In the normal course of business operations, companies benefit when they discourage employees from putting in long hours or from taking work home. Breaks from work provide opportunities to enjoy outside interests and activities and to spend important time with friends and family. Employees who make time for relationships and leisure activities will find that they return to the job refreshed and with new perspectives on the challenges they face at work. Both of these factors contribute to clearer focus on the task at hand and greater efficiency.
At the same time, every organization is familiar with the press of crucial deadlines and other crisis situations. At such times a company should call upon employees to work overtime and even to take projects home, especially when doing so might make the difference between the business' success or failure. Moreover, it is in the company's best interest to reward the devoted worker accordingly-not in order to encourage workaholic habits but rather to foster good-will and loyalty.
In sum, I agree that encouraging employees to make a habit of working after hours or taking work home is generally counterproductive for an enterprise. Nevertheless, in exceptional situations, especially where the Company is at great risk, calling on employees to forego their ordinary schedules and to work overtime is well justified.