Every employer appreciates speed. That’s the heart of productivity: getting things done with as little time and effort as possible. However, speed comes with a trade-off. The downside of being too quick at your job is a possible decline in safety.
For that reason, it’s important to keep speed in perspective. Go too fast, and you might create more problems than you solve. It’s important to work at a sustainable pace so that you can create the most long-term value possible.
Here are some things to keep in mind:
A blistering pace is hard to sustain. Push too hard early in a shift, and it’s difficult to keep your energy going the rest of the day. This can lead to productivity issues as the day drags on. In addition, it can significantly increase your risk of an accident.
Fatigue is a significant contributor to workplace accidents. Often this focuses on the amount of work a person does, or the time of day it happens. For instance, OSHA figures show that 12-hour workdays are associated with an increased injury risk of 37%. Meanwhile, night shifts report 30% higher accident and injury rates than day shifts.
Clearly, being tired can create a hazardous situation. But this risk doesn’t just come about because you work too long. Pace matters as well. By maintaining a sustainable workload, you avoid fatigue and ensure that you minimize your chance of getting hurt.
Being fast at your job is generally a good thing. It matters how you achieve that speed, however. It’s good to get things done quickly when that comes about because you know what you’re doing and you benefit from pinpoint execution. It’s bad if you keep up an impressive pace by dropping safety precautions and cutting corners.
It can be tempting to skip some protocols. After all, many safety precautions seem pointless most of the time. Take a hardhat as an example. Most of the time, wearing one just represents an unappealing fashion choice. That is, of course, until something hits you in the head, and you’re glad you had it on.
As unnecessary as safety protocols might seem in the moment, don’t sacrifice them to improve your speed. It’s not worth it. On the rare occasions when something goes wrong, you’ll want those protections in place.
Find a Balance
The key to working as efficiently as possible is to find an equilibrium. You don’t just want speed at all costs. You want a balance between speed and the other priorities that come with getting your job done. Working fast is only one aspect of success. You also want to maintain quality and, of course, maximize safety.
In other words, focus on long-term productivity. Sure, working at break-neck speed can give you a short-term boost in output. But you end up paying for it later.
By working too fast, you could see a drop off in quality. Meanwhile, extreme rates of production are hard to sustain. You might lose steam later in your shift…meaning your early push might not even matter after a few hours. And, of course, you need to balance those safety concerns we talked about earlier.
You want to get rewarded for the extra effort you put in at work. That comes with having the right employer. Working with a strong recruiting firm, like DHR, puts you in touch with the kind of companies that recognize valuable skills and a strong work ethic.
Contact DHR today to learn more.