Office Overtime Reduces More Than Just Your Sleep-In
Sunglasses over tired eyes, espresso in hand and ten-minutes late to work. Sound familiar? No, we’re not talking about the effects of a mid-week hangover, this is the morning snapshot into the lives of more than a third of employees who work overtime every week.
While late night desk jockeys might impress some managers, meeting urgent deadlines may be at the expense of employee health.
A recent poll by recruitment firm Employment Office found 37% of people work an average of 2-5 hours overtime every week and 22% clock up an additional 10 hours every week.
Although short-term benefits might be tempting, including fuller pay cheques, prolonged periods of overtime actually aren’t beneficial for employers or employees.
A study published in UK medical journal The Lancet last month revealed staff who work 55 hours or more per week have a 33% increased risk of stroke and 13% higher risk of coronary heart disease compared to people who only work 40 hour weeks.
The results led by scientists at University College London reviewed 42 studies from across Europe, the US and Australia. While they couldn’t definitively say long hours give people strokes, the study shows a clear link between working long hours and these serious health conditions.
Putting significantly long days in at work can also result in a number of less serious issues for staff, including increased levels of stress and fatigue, with these complaints often leaving employees feeling burned and resulting in decreased productivity.
Employment Office Managing Director, Tudor Marsden-Huggins says employers can mitigate negative effects of excessive overtime by implementing an overtime policy which is regularly assessed.
“It’s essential to document an overtime policy, particularly for organisations who deal in shift work or extended opening hours. Establishing a formal rotation of overtime within a team or department will see extra work distributed fairly and won’t leave one person feeling like they are overworked.
“Long stints of overtime can lead to increased absenteeism and high employee turnover. Encouraging employees to turn their emails off over the weekend is a simple way to reduce the desire for staff to be contactable at all hours, and to have a real break away from work when they are out of the office,” he said.
So while it might seem enticing for your people to clock in more office hours, kerbing the chained-to-the-desk mentality will see happy, healthier and more productive staff in the long run
For further information or to arrange an interview please contact Brooke Chapman, Employment Office Publicist on 0407 163 876.