Why Overwork is Bad for Business (And Who’s to Blame)
Are you or any of your people caught in the overworking trap? Do you keep up with email and phone calls on vacation? Please read on.
As handy as the Internet and our mobile devices are, they often mean that we are seldom “unplugged.” We work hard at the office; finish a tough project, head for home, and a many of the issues follow us.
Working overtime has become the norm for many people. It’s one of those things everyone knows is bad for us, but we do it anyway. The challenge is that overtime is bad for employees, employers, AND business.
A June 2018 article in USATODAY.com asks, “Should you work on vacation?” The quick answer: Yes. For some, the accumulation of work back at the office can take the joy out of vacation. For others, not needing to work is essential to a good vacation.
An estimated 21% of U.S. workers left vacation days on the table this past year, and their reasons ran the gamut from having too many pressing deadlines to take time off to fearing backlash from their colleagues or managers.
The problem with not taking vacation, however, is that it makes workers more susceptible to burnout.
HOW OVERWORK HURTS YOUR HEALTH
- Keep you from getting enough sleep
- Prevent you from keeping good habits
- Hurt your heart
- Cause heavy drinking
- Increase the risk of Type 2 Diabetes
- Your overall mental state can have a huge impact on how your body feels.
. . . but then you already know this.
HOW IT HURTS YOUR BUSINESS
1. Avoidable mistakes are made. When people are exhausted, everything in the office becomes more difficult including interpersonal communication, judgment, understanding others and managing their own emotional reactions. These can spell workplace disaster.
2. Significant drop in productivity after 8 hours. (at 9 hours fatigue and fuzzy thinking take over.) Employees may miss a critical deadline because they are just too tired to make it work. One study showed that employers can’t tell the difference between people who actually work 80 hrs. a week and those who pretend to.
3. People feel disrespected, become dissatisfied, and likely begin to think about finding a better job.
4. People lose sight of the bigger picture (why we’re doing this) and get lost in a myriad of details. Breaks and time with our friends and loved ones can recharge our brains and engage clear thinking.
WHO’S TO BLAME?
Bosses? They often expect their people to work long days and be available 24/7 – sometimes even on vacation. (What about that smartphone?) They are usually working crazy hours themselves and feel it’s okay to expect the same from their people.
Ourselves? Most of us put the pressure on ourselves in order to prove something to ourselves and others. We feel needed, important, and are demonstrating our commitment to our work. Working long hours can feel rewarding even if we feel stressed, mad, or unwell.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
The answer is simple and perhaps not easy. Notice how you feel. If work is interfering with your physical, mental or emotional health, it’s time to think of another way to get things done. Examine your priorities.Enlist help. Re-organize.
There is always a way to make things better. Your choice.
Article adapted from Llindsay Kolowich. Read the full article on Hubspot.com/marketing
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