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Olivier Tirmarche

Overwork: The New Horizon of Productivity Work efficiency

Olivier Tirmarche has a Ph.D. in sociology and is director of an organization and management consulting firm. He also teaches at Sciences Po, and is the author of Au-delà de la souffrance au travail published in 2010 by Odile Jacob.
How does one recognize truly effective work? And what measures can be taken to eliminate “overwork” and make an organization more productive?
While gains in productivity have continued to drop since the 1960s, there is a perception that time is accelerating, which dominates the daily lives of companies. This intensification of work takes on various forms: short-term management favoring day-to-day operations over the long term; a constant pushing back of deadlines; taking ill-considered risks due to a “lack of time,” and so on.
The thesis of this book is categorical - a portion of work done, “overwork,” is ineffective and does not generate added value. Despite companies’ attempts at streamlining (Toyotism, lean-management), gains in productivity, which are very important for a company, remain unchanged. Why? We build organizations that add work on top of work. The proposed reasons – a need to fight against the competition, to satisfy the growing demands of consumers and stock-holders – don’t hold up when they are analyzed closely.