The Difference Between Hard Work and Overworked

You’re a smart manager; someone who empowers your team, delegates effectively and expects great performance.

But are you expecting a little too much from your staff?

Overworking employees is bad for your employees’ health – and your bottom line, too:

  • Meta-analysis of several studies shows that employees who work long hours have a higher risk of stroke than those working standard hours.
  • Working more than 55 hours per week has been linked to health issues, diminished productivity and increased alcohol consumption.
  • More hours worked ≠ more productivity. As work hours increase, so does each employee’s need for recovery. Without the opportunity to rejuvenate and recharge, the resulting exhaustion impedes productivity and leads to accidents, illness, emotional dysregulation and mistakes.

There’s a fine line between requiring hard work from your employees – and simply overworking them. Here are a few signs you may have crossed it:

  • Employees are working early mornings, late nights and/or weekends. While short bursts of overtime may not be cause for concern, take note of employees’ whose schedules regularly bleed beyond standard work hours.
  • Employees seem more frustrated, impatient or emotional. Chronic overwork increases stress, disrupts sleep patterns and may impact relationships outside work. If normally rational team members seem more on-edge, consider whether overwork may be to blame.
  • Employees skip important commitments for work reasons. If you catch wind that workers are missing family obligations because they feel like they can’t take the time off work, it could indicate that your staff is overburdened.
  • Mistakes increase and productivity drops. There’s a reason why 19th-century factory owners began to limit work hours. They found that when they limited work hours, output increased while expensive mistakes and accidents decreased.

If you notice any of these signs, your staff could be overworked – and you may be driving great workers out the door. And unfortunately, high performers are at the greatest risk for job burnout because of their exceptional capability and commitment.

So, while it’s reasonable to occasionally ask employees to work overtime, consider whether you’re consistently piling too much work on their plates. If you think that may be the case, PrideStaff can design an intelligent, cost-effective solution to help you get your work done – while keeping your best employees happy and working at their peak.

Related posts:

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Is Your Management Style Pushing People Out the Door?