Managers and employers are constantly thinking about how they can motivate their teams to be more productive. However, something that often skips their mind is checking whether their employees are overworking themselves. As a manager, you should never overlook this because working long hours effects can be severe.
Studies prove working for more than 55 hours per week can have detrimental effects, including health issues and less productivity. Not only that, but it can also cause an increased dependency on alcohol! Well, worry no more! With this article, you can learn how to recognize signs of overworking and how to prevent it!
Signs: Are Your Employees Working Long Hours?
Every employee has their natural capacity. So what is too much work for one person may be regular for another. Here’s how you can tell if an employee is suffering effects of overworking:
- Working early mornings, nights, or weekends: If your employees seem to be working odd hours of the day, it may be time to examine their workload.
- Skipping out on lunch breaks: Similarly, if you notice your employees forgetting meals to meet a deadline, it points to working long hours and stress.
- Missing family or friendly commitments: When employees do not seem to have a work-life balance, it signifies a need for drastic changes.
- Heightened emotions in the workspace: Shorter fuses, unhappiness, passive-aggression, disengagement, and more are all common signs of a disturbed emotional equilibrium due to overworking.
- Poor work performance and customer feedback: Look out for missed deadlines, late submissions, and insufficient work quality. These are noticeable pointers that an employee may be burning themselves out. Also, pay close heed to customer feedback. They are very aware of decreased work standards from top-notch employees due to stress.
- Increase in voluntary turnover: If you seem to be losing out on talented employees, it may be a sign the workload is too much.
Causes: Why Are Your Employees Working Too Much?
Of course, it is great to have employees who enjoy working. However, there is a delicate line between work and too much work. So what causes an employee to cross that threshold? Here are the most common reasons:
- Lack Of Resources: When a work environment suffers from insufficient tools or staff, employees will most likely be working overtime. This situation may leave employees dealing with problems entirely unfamiliar to them. So a natural outcome to this is working long hours and stress.
- Ineffective Time Management System: A workspace that doesn’t have an efficient time management technique or system in place will naturally find too much on its plate. Poor planning skills, not prioritizing crucial tasks, and not having defined goals all contribute to poor time management.
- Lack Of Communication: Communication is key to making a workspace is efficient. However, ineffective or insufficient communication can lead to confusion among employees because of tasks. Their doubts about what to do may make them spend longer on tasks and suffer the effects of overtime.
- Frequent And Unnecessary Interruptions: In the workspace, it is not uncommon for a few disruptions to pop-up. Perhaps a problem arises that needs a specific employee’s attention for a while. However, when the frequency of this increases or happens for frivolous reasons, it can severely impact the person’s workflow.
Effects Of Working Long Hours
While the impact of working long hours includes reduced productivity, the more pressing concern is its health effects. Here is how working too much can have damaging consequences on your employees’ health.
- Increased Fatigue: One of the most common effects of working long hours is burn-out. Working too much can cause an employee to suffer from workplace fatigue, lack of concentration, sleepiness, irritability, and so on.
- Higher Chances Of Workplace Injuries: A lack of focus inevitably causes an increase in the chances of facing office accidents. It is one of tremendous working long hours effects. While it is hard to quantify the possibility of such injuries, it is best not to ignore this logical hazard.
- Musculoskeletal Damage: Employees that often work long hours spend a lot of time at their office desks. However, the danger to this is awkward positions can lead to the development of musculoskeletal disorders. Not only that, but it can damage muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves, and joints as one of working long hours effects.
- Increased Risk Of Heart Disease: Reports show working more than the average 7-8hours a day can increase the risk of heart diseases, one of working long hours effects, by nearly 67%. The situation is worse if an employee already suffers from conditions like high blood pressure.
- Chances Of Brain Damage: Studies also show that working long hours and stress can damage the brain, causing short-term memory loss. Besides deficient mental skills, it can even have long-term effects like dementia.
- Greater Risk Of Obesity: Of course, spending long hours working with no time to exercise also increases the risk of weight gain and obesity.
Recommendations For Managers: How To Prevent Working Long Hours And Stress
Overworking is a severe concern in the workplace because it affects both employees and employers. However, there are simple practices you can adopt to prevent it!
- Create A Care Culture: Establishing a supportive organizational culture of care among your employees can have long-term benefits. Try to hold one-on-one meetings with your employees and encourage them to share their feedback on dealing with work. Then take their inputs seriously so you can help them find solutions to their problems.
- Practice Healthy Leadership: As a leader, you should do what you can to create a healthy work relationship and environment for your employees. Consider setting up meditation programs, quality health insurance policies, daycare, or maybe even a gym. Doing so perpetuates the importance of good health among employees.
- Provide Perks And Benefits: If you notice your employees putting in a lot of effort, reward them for it. You can award them paid time offs, paid parental leaves, bonuses, free access to healthy snacks, and more. Simultaneously, stress to them the vitality of a good work-life balance.
- Ergonomic Offices: There will always be situations where there is no way around overtime. So it becomes your responsibility to set up your office ergonomically to promote good health among employees. Autonomous has a vast collection of ergonomic office chairs, standing desks, and office accessories worth checking out. You may be overwhelmed with the benefits of using a standing desk.
The effects of overtime are severe, but it is not impossible to prevent them. As an employer, all you need to do is pay adequate attention to the signs of overworking. You can then employ several methods like care culture, ergonomic offices with smartdesk and ergonomic chairs, and more to reduce its effects. Remember, productive and healthy employees are critical to a successful business!
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