Overworking: the Consequences of Working Long Hours

Modern technology is one of the key factors why we can easily do things these days. However, as technology progresses, so is the excessive demands of work. Consequently, this results in overworking just to comply with all tasks and responsibilities expected from us.

woman massaging her head while sitting in front of her laptop
Photo by Marcus Aurelius from Pexels

In 2014, Gallup reported that adults working full time in the US work an average of 47 hours per week. That is way beyond the normal 40 hours per week. Instead of performing the usual 9-5 duty, individuals are forced to work more than eight hours a day. It’s like waking up early in the morning, work your butt off all day, go home when it’s already dark, and do the same thing the next day.

Working for longer hours sometimes is not imposed, but a choice. In a blog post by Jory Mackay, he laid out two motives why people overwork. One is because managers or bosses force us to do so while the other one is that we choose to do it ourselves. We have this preconceived notion that when we work longer than we ought to, we can do more than we need to. However, research from Stanford University revealed that after working 50 hours per week, employee’s output falls significantly and falls even further after spending 55 hours a week. Individuals working 70 hours or more per week produces nothing more with those extra 15 hours.

What happens when we overwork?

Spending long hours in the office almost every day should not be something to be proud of. In recent years, researchers found out that overworking results in health issues like stroke, heart disease, mental health problems, diabetes, abnormal heart rhythms, and if worse comes to worst, death.

Let’s take Japan for example. Working overtime is considered a norm there, and it has been a part of the Japanese culture. For them, leaving the office before your boss is impolite. According to the Japanese government, this practice leads to the death of 191 people in 2016. Even the founder and CEO of Japan’s Work-Life Balance Consultancy, Yoshie Komuro, said that the country’s grueling culture also results in the dropping of national birth rate. Young people prefer to spend their time alone instead of making families of their own. They don’t even have time to see their friends, how much more in finding a partner.

Tips to Have a Work-Life Balance

Working is part of adulthood. It is our duty as an employee to work hard and give what is asked by the company. But, working hard and overworking are two different things. Do not let work rule your life. There is so much more outside your workplace. Learn to say no. Money can never buy your time nor happiness. Date yourself. You deserve a treat. Life is too short, do not spend it by just working.