Is Working Overtime Actually Beneficial?

Posted on Wednesday, June 14, 2017 by The Office Zen MasterNo comments

So…you’re trying to impress your boss and make sure you’re the first name that comes to mind when they start thinking about promotions and progression. What can you do to put yourself at the top of their list and ensure you’re considered?

One of the first things that many workers think will influence their boss is putting in lots of overtime. After all, showing that you’re willing to work extra hours and commit yourself fully to the role is sure to work in your favour, right?

Well, not necessarily. There’s a negative side to working overtime that many people don’t understand. As an experienced London recruitment agency, we know what works and what doesn’t, so here’s why you shouldn’t resort to staying behind every night at the office to win favour with your boss.

It’s bad for your health

Working long hours and restricting your rest time when you’re not at work can be terrible for your health. One long-running study revolving around civil servants found that working overtime brings a higher risk of heart disease and heart attacks – those who work for more than three hours extra on a regular seven-hour day have a 60% higher chance of heart-related illnesses. Longer working hours also mean you’ll be running on less sleep, which can lead to a number of health issues over the long-term, including weight gain, higher risk of stroke, and elevated blood pressure.

It leads to a rise in absenteeism

Following on from the health issues, overtime could possibly lead to a rise in absenteeism. If your health is poor because you’ve been putting in so many hours at work, you could end up taking more sick days - not the result you anticipated! What started out as a way for you to win favour with the boss could end up with you missing out on work because you’ve taken so much time off.

It doesn’t always make you more productive

A longer working day doesn’t necessarily mean you’re more productive. Companies in Sweden have actually introduced a six-hour working day, with the aim of encouraging staff to work more intensely during that time, rather than dragging out the work over ten or more hours. Meetings that can disrupt productivity are kept to a minimum, and other distractions are wiped out. Reports show that this approach has been highly effective.

It could even make you look bad

You might think that putting in the extra hours makes you look good – but if you’re regularly the only one who stays behind at work, it could actually work against you. A senior member of staff might wonder why you can’t seem to complete your work in regular office hours like all of your colleagues. You might come across as inefficient, and appear as though you can’t manage your time as well as other staff.

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