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It's official: Workers are putting in longer hours than they did five years ago. A new poll by Right Management found that the average employee is spending more time at work than they did just a few years ago.

Almost four out of five participants said their company’s employees spend more time at work than they did before the recession in 2008. A majority 67 percent said they spend "a great deal" more time at work.

While it seems these employees feel putting in the extra time is necessary for job security, they are forgetting about the importance of their own engagement. Engagement has been put at the forefront of management priorities, while many are trying to counteract burnout and over-stress. The extra hours at work are simply adding to the issue.

“Leaders need to have courageous conversations with their employees to ensure better alignment between the work their people are doing and the company’s overall strategic objectives,” Matt Norquist, the GM of Right Management’s northeast region, said in a statement emailed to us. “There are times when deadlines or projects command longer hours. But leaders need to connect the intensity of workloads with dialogue that aligns the work with individual employees’ ambitions, and the organizations’ broader strategic objectives.”

Working longer hours doesn’t always equate to increased productivity. Employees can easily harness their own productivity during regular working hours to ensure they have enough time for family, friends and relaxation at the end of the day. If you want to optimize your productivity without extending your work hours, try working in a quiet zone, do the speed drill exercise, or protect your power hours.

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