South Africans are widely regarded as hard workers, and this is something we take a great deal of pride in. We don’t want to be the first to leave the office in case it makes us look like the company’s weak link. It’s almost a game of who’s going to blink first, and we do this even when clock-out time has long come and passed. We’re all overworking.
Technology has provided us with ultimate connectivity, which means that we check our emails, update our schedules, and plan projects through our lunch hours, during our evenings, and through our weekends.
Why do we feel the need to work all the time? Is it to make money, please the boss, and get a promotion? Yes, these factors do contribute. But it all boils down to the fact the think we should. It is what has come to be expected of us. We skip family meals and time with friends because we simply have too much to do and too little time in which to do it.
This is chronic overworking, and it’s dangerous.
The Effects of Overworking
Overworking has been proved to be hazardous to people’s health for a number of reasons. It increases stress and gets in the way of our healthy habits, like exercise and healthy eating. Studies on the subject discovered that overworking is a major cause of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.
It does this through creating something called ‘Sleep Debt’, which is a recurring deficit in the healthy amount of sleep. Stress and worry prevent proper sleeping patterns, as does the act of not properly relaxing before heading to bed.
But, aside from being bad for health, overworking is bad for business. A direct correlation between healthy workers and a healthy bottom line has been discovered. Healthy workers are happy and rested, which keeps their bodies and their ideas much fresher.
Who is to Blame for Overworking?
Bosses are partly to blame. Many employers expect their employees to consistently put in long days and work weekends. Any resistance on this is seen as laziness. So, in order to keep their jobs safe, employees overwork in an attempt to keep their bosses happy.
However, this is not the case throughout the country, or the world for that matter. Many workers simply feel more valuable when working overtime. It is a way to prove that are ambitious and vital to the company. Society is competitive, and working is a type of competition.
However, paying attention to your health is very important. Pushing yourself too hard will eventually have the adverse effect, and see your quality of work beginning to slip. So, if you are overworking, now is the time to reprioritise and look for ways to meet your deadlines without working all hours of the day and night.
Image credit: http://www.mplus.com.tw/article/891