You would have experienced working for long hours during execution of important projects or when you needed to fill up the gap during end of the year accounting activities.
It’s not only you, there are many people who would have experienced this atleast once in a year.
What Does It Mean?
Working long hours means that you work for a certain period of time which is longer than your regular hours.
Normally, in industry setup or manufacturing unit, it is termed as overtime.
What Could be the Possible Reasons?
1. A culture of workplace:
Some work place have a culture of people working beyond their normal hours and it is normal.
In such instances, it is presumed that managers judge people by this attitude. They don’t review about how effectively it has been executed.
2. To look busy:
There are some work places that people spend unnecessary time on surfing net, spend time for chatting or gossiping, converse long time for their personal calls or even execute their tasks at their own pace when it can be done quicker.
3. Not enough time:
It could also be that there are too many activities to complete a cycle of work that each part requires more time to complete.
Hence, the job is done after working hours. As the cycle of work involves at least 2 or 3 of your colleagues, they too would be affected by having to work longer.
4. Badly organized:
Studies have indicated that without an organized work style, anyone is prone to continue their work after normal working hours.
This is considered as one of the reasons for putting in extra time for completing your work.
5. Only person:
To complete a work, the company may have hired only one person to execute that specific task which has many activities or too much of work involved.
It’s like having a specialist to execute that job that requires more time to complete the work.
6. Not properly assigned:
Some work activities require sharing of sub activities wherein each task needs to be assigned to the appropriate designation.
In case the work is not properly designated to appropriate candidates then one person may have more work while others would sit idle.
7. Meet deadline:
In case the manager did not understand in depth about the demands of the project, then he/she would surely make their staff work long hours to meet deadline.
8. Not prioritized:
A simple reason is that sometimes, you don’t know which task is to be prioritized so that the work gets completed on time. It is something that is related to being organized.
9. Not efficient:
There are possibilities when inefficiency could play a role in making you to work for long hours.
If you do not know how to execute the work effectively, then you are liable to work for long hours.
10. Being workaholic:
This is the last possibility that when you put in extra working time you tend to be happy.
It’s an attitude that you nurture and such situations are not always welcome by your colleagues.
Many employees have notion that working long hours gives the employer a feeling that their candidature would be likely considered when the performance appraisal comes up. It helps them to get higher pay.
12. Enhances skill:
By getting to work long hours, it is said that the employee gets exposed to new skill sets which would have been impossible otherwise.
13. Better pay:
There are many organizations that pay workers for working longer hours with the approval of their managers.
What are the Effects of Working Long Hours?
Now, working long hours have effects whether it’s beneficial or not. It’s up to us as a person who wishes to put up with it.
Let’s have a look at those effects
a. Make mistakes:
Working for long hours instill fatigue in the body reducing interest to work and is liable to make mistakes as they don’t have enough sleep.
b. Work-life balance:
Getting involved in long hours of work disturbs a person’s work-life balance.
This disrupts a person’s relationship with their loved ones leading to separation.
c. No time for self:
As long hours of work snatches away almost 3/4th of the 24 hours of the day, a person does not get enough free time to spend or have time for self-analysis.
d. Cause stress:
If a person is subjected to working long hours for considerable number of days, then he/she would be subjected to stress as they do not get enough time to sleep.
e. Lack of attentiveness:
Too long hours of work causes body to fatigue and reduce concentration at work. This ultimately reduces attentiveness in the job done.
f. Become inefficient:
By continuing to work long hours, a person loses his interest in work and by due course of time he/she becomes inefficient.
g. Reduced productivity:
Prolonged hours of work hampers productivity as the person becomes bored of staying back later which affects their overall health and their work life balance.
h. Likelihood of heart disease:
Studies have indicated that exposing to long working hours pushes a person to consume alcohol at high levels posing health risks like high blood pressure, stroke and cardiovascular disease.
Such persons tend to smoke to ease their stress that leads to heart disease.
g. Increase in mortality:
By spending more time at work place a person does not get enough time to exercise or go for walk, thus affecting their physical fitness. This is indirectly linked to heart disease.
j. Get unpaid:
As the employees continue to work long hours regularly, it is presumed to extract work from them without having to pay. Their labor is consider as free
k. Employee turnover:
If the employee gets to work long hours every day without getting paid, then the employee turns to another organization to seek a better opportunity.
This would have a negative impact on the employer turnover.
What are Tips to Survive Working Long Hours?
There are many of you out there who are working hours for many reasons. Whatever be it, you are able to pay your bills, so be happy!
Feeling pain in it, then go through some of the tips below to make it bearable and encouraging.
1. Wake up early:
You may be having to sit till late night to complete a job assignment. So instead of getting up late in the morning, make it a habit to get up early every day.
Use this time, probably 15 minutes, for yourself instead of anything related to work. It could be a short walk, exercising, walk with your pet, and a hot cup of coffee, listening to your favorite music or watching your show.
2. Spend time:
As you reach home, don’t throw yourself to the bed. It may sound alarming, but refresh yourself and spend quality time with your family members to ease out your stress.
Talking to your kids or parents will refresh your mind. You could listen to music or read book before hitting the bed.
3. Sleep well:
After a long day, getting a good night’s sleep is essential. Definitely after spending time for yourself is the best way to release your stress so that you can sleep well without the stress.
4. Healthy eating:
During working hours, some tend to grab whatever they can to finish their work. This harms your body and in long run spoils your stamina.
So eat healthy and at right time. Don’t try to skip your lunch or breakfast which are very essential.
5. Organize for getaways:
If you know that you are going to get a short time for breaks, then make a plan to spend time with your friends or family. This could help boost your working spirit!
6. Save for weekends:
Mostly, many tend to waste their time watching TV or sleeping till late morning.
Try to get your clothes washed, ironed and do little ‘to do’ chores that needs to be done so that you don’t get surprises during the week.
7. Maintain proper diet:
As you are aware of your timings, you need to slot specific timing for the necessary breaks to eat healthy.
Avoid eating high carbohydrate snacks that always seem tempting. Instead pick up apple and fruits to have for your hungry pangs.
8. Take short breaks:
Get enough short breaks of 15 minutes for small walk to refresh yourself. Taking breaks in between will help you to concentrate better.
How Does Productivity Correlate with Working Long Hours?
Do you know that a person gets distracted ‘n’ times before he/she completes reading a book or completing a job?
Do you notice that while you sit at your office table and read a content, how many of you are able to complete without a single distraction?
Distractions often is considered to derail your thoughts which in turn disturbs the work flow shifting the deadline. It also affects the quality of work and in turn productivity.
According to scientific studies indicate that our brain cannot concentrate for 8 hours straight!
It gets tired instead. As there are many cycles of activity, every time there is a disturbance our mind responds keeping us attentive and active. Hence, it is challenging for us humans, in this age of technology, to be productive in harnessing these cycles.
Here are some facts where productivity can be maximized.
1. Allotting specific time:
You may find that with many mails flowing through, it seems difficult to keep track of contents and which is to be prioritized.
To decrease frustration, you could allot specific time of the day for looking through the mails
2. Using whiteboards:
If you are unable to keep track of activities or know which to be prioritized, then have a whiteboard in your cubicle that highlights important activities.
You could also indicate target dates against each assignment and time frame. Besides, key information can be noted down for reference to avoid scrolling through documents wasting time.
3. Seek private enclaves:
In case you need to concentrate on your work amongst the group of people you work with, you could request for separate desk wherein you could work separately. This would promote productivity.
4. Move around:
To give your brain a break, it’s imperative to take breaks in between work. After every two hours, take a stroll out of office floor space to give your mind a refreshment.
5. Write them down:
Research has indicated that displaying handwritten notes about previous assignments makes it interesting for you to pursue your next project and enhance productivity. Avoid using digital notepads.
6. Use updated information:
As you would be referring to many documents while at work, it’s always the updated documents that is often looked out for.
For this purpose, make use of the suitable real time communication system that offers updates folders.
7. Be yourself:
Impersonating others will not solve your issues. Each employee has their own talents, their own style of work and job satisfaction. Hence, you need to perform in your own way.
Though working long hours may seem beneficial for some, around 85% of situations spring due to unavoidable reasons. But in case of being subjected to such a situation, then the above facts can help you understand how to go through it without jeopardizing your health and maintain work life balance.