The opinion on overtime is divided. Some are all for it, saying it helps businesses cater to a temporary increase in demands while allowing the employees a chance to earn a little more. On the other hand, there is an equal and maybe even more significant number of people that are vehemently against it for multiple reasons. Overtime and long working hours are two factors that decrease business productivity over time. Here, we shed light on how and why they are so detrimental to a company’s performance.
Overwork Does Not Guarantee More Work
Yes, it is true. There is no guarantee that an employee working overtime is achieving more than an employee who is not. In fact, according to a study by a Boston University Professor published in Harvard Business Review, there is no substantial evidence that backs up claims that employees who work overtime achieve more and employees who do not are unproductive or do not achieve their goals.
The research also states that managers are often unable to identify how many hours did an employee actually put into achieving their targets. Provided this is true, the company is technically increasing its costs and are not getting the benefit they need.
Overworking Creates Health Problems
According to a recent report by World Health Organization, worker more than 55 hours a week increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. The report found that the pandemic is accelerating the trend of longer working hours, which is proving fatal for hundreds of thousands of individuals globally.
Several studies back up the claim that working longer hours increases health problems. These problems can include insomnia, hypertension, cardiovascular problems, memory loss, and even drinking problems.
Increased Stress Levels
Research by Workplace Mental Health found that employees who felt pressured to meet increasing workplace demands were highly stressed. They also quoted feeling demotivated because of increased stress, and many had considered quitting the job because of the stress.
The research also found that higher stress leaves the immune system impaired, can cause Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and increase inflammation and distress. Distress is often the number one reason why employees leave, and a high turnover rate is definitely counterproductive for organizations.
How to Find the Perfect Balance
Finding a balance is not easy. Not every manager has the skill set needed to read employees and set realistic goals that challenge each employee to discover their potential but do not stress them out to the point where it starts affecting their mental health. It sounds easy, but dealing with factors that decrease business productivity can be challenging.
Business leaders need to stop looking at the time put in as a factor of productivity. They can focus on increasing communication, task delegation, improving office communication, and provide flexible working schedules, especially amid the pandemic.