Putting in the hours at the office from 9 till 5 might be what your contract states, but many may stay back in a bid to get ahead of their workload. Working overtime and outside work hours might seem like an easy way to get ahead, but it can be detrimental to your wellbeing physically and mentally. It can even lead to work burnout.
Obviously, there are some benefits to working overtime.
- Additional money on top of the established weekly income can be earned simply with the increase in hours. Some companies may have an established rate of pay for overtime work that is more than what your rate of pay would normally be.
- Working overtime can increase the amount of leave you can ask for, increasing the amount of time you can spend away from work.
- Working overtime can result in learning skills quicker and gaining additional experience as you are putting in the time outside of normal working hours
- Employers may see the overtime work as you being able to be flexible, and hardworking.
However, there are also disadvantages to working overtime.
- Working overtime has been linked to increased depression and anxiety reports in people, as it can be difficult to disconnect from the high-pressure stress associated with work.
- The physical health of people can be impacted, particularly for those who are sat in front of screens all day. This can manifest as conditions that affect the heart, health issues impacting the body, or simply additional discomfort.
- Working overtime can mean that the body becomes out of sync with its schedule, as it tries to accommodate the irregular hours. This can result in trouble remembering, learning new things, or making decisions that could impact their day-to-day lives.
- More time working can simply mean less time for personal downtime.
As an employer or as an employee, you need to evaluate whether or not the effort that you’re putting into work outside of working hours is worth it, and if you are being negatively affected by the consequences of overtime. Working an hour or two extra a couple of times can be beneficial – but working overtime all the time may not.