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    Why Working Overtime Is Bad For Your Mental Health And How Self Awareness Can Help By Falguni Katira

    Despite the fact that not many employees enjoy working overtime, and also considering that many industries prefer it if their employees didn’t work overtime, there is still a huge number of people who are spending more than 50 hours a week on their jobs.

    This comes even amongst the solid research showing that working overtime can cause a whole host of physical as well as mental issues. From stroke and heart disease to depression and anxiety, it seems surprising that even with the risks involved more people continue to work overtime.

    In this post, we aim to learn more about the downsides of working overtime and what we can do to create self-awareness.

    But before we can dive into that, it’s important to understand why many people opt to work overtime in the first place.

    Why People Work Overtime

    There are many reasons that could push a worker to working overtime. Some of these include:

    Having too much work that needs completion at a specified date

    Too many meetings at the office that consume time that would otherwise be spent working Office distractions that cause employees to lose focus on their work thus resulting in a pile up of work Excessive number of emails that require responses which consumes time that could be spent working The striver syndrome where the worker tries to appear hard working

    While overtime is mostly associated with workers in less senior roles which take direct orders from authority positions such as managers, it’s important to note that there are plenty of people in management positions that work over time.

    One of the main reasons why management including vice presidents and other leading positions work over 40 hours a week is due to ambition. Some of them are business owners looking to take their enterprise to the next level. Others are under a board of directors and may be under pressure to hit targets and therefore strive to either achieve goals or outperform the targets.

    This exposes them to the serious physical and mental issues that is associated with working overtime.

    The Striver Syndrome

    This is where a worker, by their own wish clocks in more working hours than the rest of the employees. Often, the goal is to increase visibility and appear harder working with an aim of getting a promotion or a raise. While hard work is often thought of as a good thing, it can cause some serious physical and mental issues.

    An issue that often props up in workers with striver syndrome is an inverse relationship between quantity of work and quality.

    Furthermore, working overtime also tends to lower productivity and morale of the worker. That said, there are more serious mental issues that can result from working overtime that one needs to consider.

    As employers, many conscientious organizations, are very mindful of their employee’s mental health. They conduct a variety of courses, call in experts and provide innumerable resources to enable their employees become aware of the repercussions of overwork. They empower and support their employees to strike a healthy work life balance.

    Work needs to get done and we cannot undermine the importance of excellent customer service, frictionless customer experience across various online and offline channels, technology challenges and so on. But it is very important to remember that behind all of this work, the humans supporting the organization also have responsibilities towards their own selves and others. Healthy and happy employees are far

    How to Reduce Employee Overtime

    To reverse any adverse effects of working overtime, there are a number of things that you will need to consider:

    1. Overtime Should be the Exception and Not the Rule

    You should only work overtime when you have pending issues that are highly important for the business. This will leave you with the rest of the week to work normal hours and will help ensure both mental and physical health. Furthermore it will keep you motivated.

    1. Consider Working from Home

    You’ll find that working from home is far more rewarding than clocking in extra hours at the office. This is because you feel less pressure to work and it gives you control over the ideal time for you to sit and work. For instance, this could be after you’ve taken time to relax and unwind.

    In the next issue we will look into the impact of working overtime on mental health and how self-awareness can play a big role in taking back control in our hands and make a difference for ourselves as well as the organization.

    Falguni Katira
    Falguni Katira
    Falguni is an internationally recognised Personal Transformation Coach. Falguni helps executives and business owners achieve radical personal and professional transformation by tapping into their inner intelligence using her EQ loaded, Signature V.I.S.I.B.I.L.I.T.Y Framework that creates self aware leaders and teams.


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