Is working at 85% capacity sustainable? Exploring the pros and cons of a reduced effort approach

Pros of working at 85% capacity:
1. Reduced risk of burnout and exhaustion: Working at a slightly lower capacity allows individuals to maintain a better work-life balance and avoid the detrimental effects of overworking.
2. Increased focus and productivity: By setting realistic goals and distributing workload effectively, employees can concentrate better on tasks at hand and complete them with higher quality.
3. Improved mental and physical well-being: Allowing oneself to work at a sustainable pace promotes better overall health, reduces stress levels, and fosters a healthier work environment.
4. Enhanced creativity and innovation: Having more time and mental space can lead to fresh perspectives, new ideas, and innovative problem-solving approaches.
5. Better time management: Working at 85% capacity encourages prioritization and efficient use of time, leading to better time management skills and reduced procrastination.

Cons of working at 85% capacity:
1. Potential decrease in output: Working at a reduced effort may result in slightly lower productivity levels, which can affect task completion and overall output.
2. Perception of decreased commitment: Others may perceive working at lower capacity as a lack of dedication or disinterest, potentially impacting professional relationships or career advancement opportunities.
3. Unrealized potential: By not pushing oneself to the maximum, there might be missed opportunities for personal and professional growth and development.
4. Pressure to meet expectations: If colleagues or supervisors are accustomed to a higher output, working at 85% capacity may create pressure to meet their expectations, leading to stress or a feeling of underachievement.
5. Need for effective communication: To avoid misunderstandings or misconceptions, it is important to communicate clearly with others about the choice to work at reduced capacity and ensure open dialogue regarding workload distribution.

Please note that the decision of whether or not working at 85% capacity is sustainable depends on individual circumstances, work requirements, and personal preferences.


The pandemic, job insecurity, and mass layoffs have worsened burnout in high achievers, highlighting a previously unspoken concern for employee well-being.