There are a lot of misconceptions floating around the workplace and office culture in general. Whether these workplace myths were perpetuated via word of mouth, outdated ideals, or the internet, they no longer hold true in the modern workplace. We’re here to bust these five most common workplace myths and clear things up once and for all.

1. Longer Work Hours Means More Productivity

The traditional workplace runs from 9 to 5. It’s a common phrase we hear all the time in our vernacular, a “9 to 5 job.” But just because that’s the norm doesn’t mean it’s necessarily the best way to run a workplace. The myth that employees are the most productive for these specific eight hours every weekday is just not true.

In fact, research done by the Draugiem Group tracked employees’ productivity on a traditional 9 to 5 work schedule. What they found was that the most productive employees didn’t work longer hours than anyone else—they all worked less than 8 hour work days. They also took regular breaks averaging out to half an hour every hour.

2. Money Is the Greatest Motivator

Another common workplace myth is that money is the reason people stay in jobs and continue to improve. While money is certainly an incentive for promotions and hard work, it’s not the number one motivator of employee performance. Getting recognized for good work and achievements is what really motivates workers and pushes them to succeed.

3. Nobody Likes Their Jobs

This workplace myth is a common trope in movies and sitcoms. Office drones who sit in cubicles forty hours a week are miserable and unfulfilled. While this may be true of past office cultures, in today’s modern workplace employees are becoming increasingly satisfied with their office jobs.

This has to do with innovative workplace designs and perks that make going to the office everyday fun. With collaborative spaces that encourage creativity, free snacks, and an overall more laid back office culture, people are beginning to actually like their jobs again

4. Speaking Up Will Only Hurt You

One of the most common workplace myths is that being assertive in the office will make you look bad. This is a reason why a lot of people never make themselves heard about important issues such as their benefits, their mental health, and promotions.

In today’s workplace, it’s no longer seen as rude or disrespectful to initiate a conversation with your boss about how the company can create a better workplace for its employees. Whether that means having more vacation time, less work to take home, or more opportunities for upward mobility, being assertive can benefit your role as an employee.

5. Having Fun Can Hurt Performance

This is one of the worst workplace myths that not only hurts employees but businesses as well. When companies are too strict on their rules or too high strung with their culture, it can lead to overstressed and depressed employees who perform poorly.

According to Julia Gifford who wrote in The Muse, “Turns out, the secret to retaining the highest level of productivity over the span of a workday is not working longer–but working smarter with frequent breaks.” Having fun in the workplace can actually make workers more productive and improve performance overall.
For more tips on how to improve your workplace, check out our blog post “5 Little Things You Can Do to Increase Office Productivity.”