For many, being busy is a status symbol. It means they’re so essential to their company and that their work is so important that they can’t take even a moment’s break. A lot of people think that being busy is the same as being competent and ambitious. But being busy isn’t always a good thing, for either employees or customers.
It Can Affect Your Health
Early workers’ rights campaigns fought to put limits on the number of hours employees could work, earning the right to days off, sick leave, and vacation time. Working too much can result in fatigue, stress, back and neck pain, and even your poor mood. You also don’t have time to take care of yourself, which means less exercise, a poorer diet, less sleep, and not being able to make doctor’s appointments.
Stress can negatively affect your heart, putting stress on it. Many who work more than 40 hours per week can end up turning to alcohol, which can have long-term poor effects on your health as well. Others have poor eating habits because they don’t have the time to prepare healthy food. If your health is poor, that can, in turn, affect the quality of and your ability to work.
It Can Affect Your Productivity
Another risk of overwork is a decrease in productivity. The brain can only handle so much at once before it needs rest to recharge. If you try to do too much at once or try to work for too long, you’ll work more slowly and make more mistakes. You run the risk of burning out.
If you take the breaks you need, then you’ll return to work refreshed and better able to think clearly. Plus, some of the health effects of overworking can also affect productivity. Getting too little sleep or being too stressed can make you less productive as well.
It Can Affect Office Morale
Being too busy can also affect mood. People who are overworked tend to be unhappy and stressed out. Even if it’s just the boss who is overworked, the other employees will have to deal with the negative effects of it. Poor morale can cause loss of productivity and can even cause employees to seek work elsewhere.
If your staff are too busy themselves, it may be time to consider hiring new employees to take on some of the excess work.
How to Avoid Overwork
Take breaks when you need them. Rethink your work priorities and when things need to be done. If you can rest, you’ll actually be more productive and creative when you return to work. If this means saying no to projects or hiring more staff to take on some of the work, that will be beneficial for your company and employees in the long run. Hiring more employees can even save you money by preventing the high cost of turnover.
For both yourself and staff members, it’s important that everyone can keep track of tasks and deadlines so you can see everyone’s workload and when projects are due. Track how long you spend on tasks and which projects have resulted in growth for your business. Trim any projects that don’t have a positive impact.