Smart Working Managers Vs Hard Working Manager by Rumana Maner

Smart Working Managers Vs Hard Working Manager

@Rumana Maner

Hard Work vs Smart Work

As work plays a significant role in human life, let us see what is hard work, what is smart work, and what, in fact, is the difference between hard work and smart work. While some of us tend to enjoy the work that we engage in, some of us do not. It all depends on the manner in which we proceed with the work that is assigned to us. When speaking of work, we often hear of two concepts called hard work and smart work. In the modern day, we prefer smart work to hard work, considering it as much more efficient and less laborious. Hard work can be defined as work that takes up a lot of effort and dedication. This is often associated with much physical commitment from the worker. However, smart work is where the task is completed with less effort through proper planning and managing. This article attempts to highlight the difference between the two concepts, hard work and smart work while elaborating the nature of the concepts.

What is Hard Work?

It is often said that to succeed one must work hard. From ancient days itself, people have had this notion that if one does not work hard, that person fails to be successful. Yet, in the work environment, we often see individuals who work very hard, but end up with low productivity. This highlights that working hard does not always guarantee success and productivity.

If a person is engaged in a particular piece of work, which does not contribute towards making a difference, then all his hard work would be in vain. Thus, hard work can be defined as working for long hours through endless labour with much sacrifice. This sacrifice can lead to stress, anxiety, unhealthy work routines and dissatisfaction. This is a very old concept that people have regarding work. In modern society, people are more interested in achieving maximum productivity or success with less effort. This is where the concept of smart work comes into play.

What does hard work mean?

Working hard is a perception of how a person performs tasks. This has certain qualities associated with it such as being punctual, having perseverance and being flexible. For example, others may perceive you to be hardworking if you arrive at work early and leave late to complete your assignments. Often hard work involves manual labour or thought-intensive mental jobs. Hard workers also put a lot of effort or endurance into completing tasks. Some may consider hard work jobs to be entry-level or ones you take before advancing to less strenuous positions.


What is smart work?

Let us look at the concept of smart work closely. Smart work does not denote that the work is easy. On the contrary, it is the same work completed differently. Smart work is working effectively and efficiently through planning, managing, delegating and having realistic goals. When working smart, it is vital to begin the day with a plan. The individual needs to have a proper plan so that work can be completed in a proper way. This reduces forgetting and redoing the same things. Also, it is important to have realistic goals, which are achievable and also to decline when the workload is too much. This allows the person to stay focused and full of energy. Another important fact in working smart is to match the task with the desired outcomes and come up with strategies to achieve the desired outcome.

There are a number of benefits of working smart. It guarantees better health since it is not as laborious as hard work. It allows a person to focus all his or her energy on achieving productivity. The individual has a better balance of work life and is satisfied with the work.

What does smart work mean?

People perceive smart work to be less strenuous. Smart workers use creative methods to save time and be productive. If you work smart, you may often look for shortcuts to complete your goals more quickly and with less effort. The perception of someone who works smart may differ depending on the individual or the industry. For example, a computer programmer may automate programming tasks so that they do not have to write out individual code for each


What is the difference between Hard Work and Smart Work?

• Hard work is working for long hours through endless labour.

• This is not only difficult and endless, but can be harmful to the worker.

• Hard work does not always guarantee maximum productivity.

Smart work is also hard work, but planned efficiently to gain productivity.

• This entails planning, prioritising, setting realistic goals, managing, and delegating work.

• Unlike in hard work, in smart work, the focus is given to the desired outcome and the task is planned in order to achieve it.

Is smart work better than hard work?

Both smart work and hard work can benefit you. It is wise to determine which suits your work style and work environment. For example, if you work in a factory that assembles products, hard work may be a better option because it produces predictable and uniform results. Smart work is optimal for industries, such as technology, that seek to create innovative products constantly.

Consider working hard first so that you can learn a process and gain a full understanding that allows you to analyse the tasks and work smart. Often you can integrate methods of hard work with smart work and achieve the best results.

How do you compare hard work vs. smart work?

Both hard and smart work have the same objectives to reach personal success and to contribute to team success. This can make it a challenge to recognise the differences between working hard and working smart. 

Here are a few key differences:


Working smart rather than hard requires expertise and an in-depth understanding of how to perform a task so that you can innovate a way to reach your goal quickly. Working hard requires more commitment to a task in order to persevere and complete the action. Commitment is important for hard work because you need to dedicate more time to the project or task.


Hard work often aims to increase production or quantity throughout the course of a project. Supervisors develop a reliable but repetitive method to achieve this aim, and employees work to follow that template to meet the goal. The process of smart work aims to make improvements to the quality of a product. This often involves testing methods and ideas to change the process of production. Smart work may create target results but at a lower quantity than hard work.


The concept of hard work comes from the tradition of designing a method and following steps to produce the same result. This method proves to be profitable for business and is successful in satisfying customers. In contrast, smart work is experimental and seeks results beyond profitability. Often it is smart work that helps companies grow and leads to innovation.


People who work smart are often creative and free-thinking. Others may commonly see these individuals as leaders. Working hard is a better method for those who prefer to follow a structure to help guide them. Hard work can lead an individual to become a master at their skills because of the repetitious nature of the method.

Tips for working smarter

Follow these tips to develop habits of working smarter:

Seek opportunities for innovation

Focus on innovating the processes you use at work. Identify areas where you or your team could make improvements. One way to do this successfully is to organise brainstorming sessions to think of potential innovations and ways to change the current procedures. Recognising problems and seeking resolutions also provides an opportunity to be innovative.

Prioritise value

The aim of working smart is to increase the quality of a product. To do this, consider the impact your products have on consumers and strategize ways to increase the benefits. Also consider how you can innovate in the creation, delivery and collection stages of production. For example, you can create more value in the creation stage, market the value to consumers in the delivery stage and then collect proof of value by analysing the sales numbers.


Conducting research on market trends, consumer behaviour and business processes can help you identify opportunities for improvements. Consider searching for overlooked niches in the market on which you can capitalise by creating related products. It is also helpful to create flexible strategies for implementing project plans. This way you and your team can discover methods to save time and help resolve any challenges as you make progress in production.

Join the right industry

Choose an industry that is both interesting to you and has growth potential. Finding a balance between these two factors allows you to use the most of your knowledge and experience to achieve results. It may also help keep you eager to learn and keep expanding your value and industry presence.

Develop time management skills

Working smart relies on knowing how to best allocate your time and resources. You can develop better time management skills by identifying and eliminating workplace distractions. It is helpful to automate tasks you repeat often during the day. For example, you can create a group calendar and share it with clients who may want to schedule a meeting with you. This helps you save time on scheduling appointments or meetings.

Know your boundaries

Work smart by recognising your personal and professional limits and adhering to them. Try to accept only the amount of tasks you can manage without sacrificing quality. It is important to become comfortable asking others to respect your boundaries so that you can preserve these practices.

Train your brain

Train your brain by developing your critical and creative thinking abilities. Taking classes, doing independent research, paying attention to the world around you, taking notes, trying new things and testing new technology are all ways you can teach your brain to think analytically, which may help you work smarter through planning and project management.

Tips for working harder

Here are a few tips to help you to work harder:

Motivate yourself

Maintaining your excitement for work plays a big role in motivating you to work hard. Working hard requires dedication and commitment. You may need to develop methods to give yourself motivation as you make progress on a project. For example, consider setting short-term goals and rewarding yourself when you reach them.

Develop a routine

When people work hard, they often follow a set process to complete their tasks. Developing a routine can help you adapt to work processes. Routines can also help you remain committed. By creating patterns to complete tasks, you can build endurance.

Keep your focus

Working hard aims to increase your productivity and the number of tasks you can complete every day. In order to accomplish this, it is important for you to be extremely focused on your tasks. Limit distractions in the workplace by organising your work environment. You may maintain focus by scheduling the tasks you need to perform.

Learn life skills

There are several life skills you can develop that encourage hard work. Some of these skills include:

·       Stamina: working hard involves long hours, effort and strength. Developing stamina ensures that you can complete tasks to the best of your ability.

·       Strategy: strategy skills help you visualise your goals and define tasks that can lead to success.

·       Problem resolution: hard workers meet challenges by creating solutions. Good problem resolution skills help maintain productivity.

·       Motivation: to work hard, you may need to motivate yourself. Maintaining interest in a project encourages you to persevere and give effort until you reach the goal.

Choose the right career

If you are a person who prefers hard work over smart work, consider choosing a career where employers appreciate your work style. It is helpful to find a work environment that provides structure and clearly defines workflows. For example, construction labourers follow protocols and have set schedules with objectives to ensure they finish building the project on time.

Create a work-life balance

Work-life balance is a relationship between your professional and personal life where they can co-exist and provide you with fulfilment. Try to achieve a work-life balance by working hard. Your efforts should earn your comfort and time to enjoy your interests. You can create a work-life balance by setting priorities.


@Rumana Maner HR Manager

Rumana Maner [MBA] HR Manager 

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