In Jason’s post on the 120% solution, he says

“If we’re going to have any chance of bringing America back to
greatness, we’re all going to have to work 20% more than we have been.
I’m suggesting that, until America takes care of its debt, untangles
the housing mess and gets unemployment under control, we all commit to working six days a week. Yep, move the standard 35-40 hour work week right up to 48 hours.”

He’s on the right track, but 120% is still not enough. For me, my job is a part of my life. Not just something I do from 9-5. I might be in the office from 9-6, but I’m responding to emails and taking phone calls at from 7-9am and from 6-11:30pm. People have to step up and do something they are passionate about so that work isn’t really “work”, but rather a part of your life that is fulfilling and personally gratifying.

People talk a lot about 20% time at Google and think, oh, that’s 1 day a week to pursue a side project, how nice. But most of the people I know that use their 20% time at Google work well over 60 hours a week — and they realize that it’s not really efficient to work on a project one day a week, but that it’s better to save up that time until you have a couple of months worth to really pursue something cool.

Anyhow, back to the real topic here. To increase productivity and output, I think companies need to find people who will dedicate themselves to their jobs and to their company’s mission. It isn’t about spending 100, 120, or 140% of the work-week that will improve productivity — it’s more about finding people who want to see the company succeed and that have a “whatever it takes” attitude to see that it happens. And if companies have a hard time finding these people, they need to rethink their approach and figure out a way to incentivize their people.