Be careful — improving productivity by pushing workers too far will likely lead to burnout, decreased productivity, increased attrition rates and increased safety risks, according to Circadian Technologies.

Workers who are asked to do more often respond favorably if they are not already overworked. Circadian’s Alex Kerin notes that extended-hours operations generally have higher rates of turnover and greater fatigue than day-only operations, so even more emphasis must be placed on providing a suitable work-life balance for shiftworkers.

Compensation is a key issue: Increased profits from productivity gains often do not make it into employees' paychecks, according to an article in Workforce Management. Eight out of ten white-collar managers surveyed said they would likely seek new employment this year, partially due to salary frustrations. Several lawsuits have been filed by employees, complaining that productivity changes were not compensated correctly, especially when employees were asked to work outside of their normal hours in “preparation” for their tasks, according to the article.