Hard Working or Over Working

Overwork can be defined as the habit of staying late in the office, routinely working on weekends, and continually being connected to one’s work responsibilities, lacking personal time to disconnect and relax. We live in a society that supports a culture of working hard, and all too often “hard” work is likened to the number of hours spent in the office. Commonly, we feel that working longer means we are working harder, and that we are therefore working better. This is not necessarily true. In reality, overwork has been linked to diminishing returns on productivity. If “hard work” comes at the cost of the health of an organizations’ employees and results in diminishing returns of productivity, we must ask ourselves: Are we working hard, or are we overworking?

Forgetfulness and impaired concentration
Usually accompanied by fatigue, overwork can lead to cognitive deficiencies, including forgetfulness and impaired concentration and attention. This lack of concentration in turn can create more accidents or errors at work. This is particularly worrying if employees handle very complex details or when the safety of others is in their hands. The problem may eventually get to the point where employees cannot get work done and it seems everything begins to pile up. So, while it may seem like an employee is simply “off their A-game”, they may in fact be overworked.

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