Are Your Employees Overworked?

January 13, 2024
3 mins read

Are Your Employees Overworked?

By Business Desk

Wednesday, June 12, 2019.

You should always give 110% in everything you do.  If you don’t go the extra mile, there is no point trying.

You’ve probably come across one of these encouraging statements in the past. As motivational as they sound, they pursue only one purpose; namely, encouraging people to work harder than they already do. There’s nothing wrong with being motivated to do the best possible job ever. But if you apply logic to it, you’ll have to admit that there is no such thing as giving 110%. Ultimately, 100% is all you can provide at any point in time.

Unfortunately, there is a business bias about work. If you leave the office on time in the evening, your co-workers are likely to comment about it and assume that you don’t value your career. Everywhere you go, hard work has become a rule to live by. However, it’s not healthy or productive for people and businesses alike. If you want to create a positive workplace that values everybody’s contribution without the pressure of always giving 110%, you need to make sure that your team isn’t overworked already.

Overwork increases absenteeism

Do you know how long they work?

The best way to know whether your employees are overworked is to check how many hours they work during the week. Typically, most work contracts focus on 40 hours weeks; however, in practice, things are different. It has become common for employees to work a little longer in the week as a result of tight deadlines and also the need to convey a positive impression. Therefore you can find that most of your staff work between 45 and 50 hours a week. Using an employee timesheet app can make sure you can track the excess time accordingly. For instance, it can highlight reasons to explain the extra work. Are they trying to finish a last-minute project? Are they trying to make up for the time spent in meetings? Do they have too much to do? Tracking their time will et you know if you can improve their working life.

Do you give them a reason to stop?

Anthropologically speaking, every member of the team has an ingrained fear of the boss, whether you’re talking about tribes or business groups. Indeed, there is no denying that displeasing the manager can get your fired – even though, HR nowadays ensures that dismissals are never discriminatory or unfair. Even if you don’t encourage an atmosphere of fear, your team is likely to pick on your behavior to justify their nervousness and hard work. Ultimately, if you’re the kind of boss who doesn’t praise their teams, you are guilty of cultivating their fears. Indeed, employees who never get to hear that their work is appreciated can worry that their efforts don’t get noticed. While some might feel disheartened, others might fear that they need to do more to receive your approval.

Don’t cultivate employees’ fears!

Does your work environment facilitate breaks?

The office decor has changed a lot since the cubicles of the 1980s. Todays’ offices include a variety of commodities, starting with a break room. Do not confuse the break room with the kitchen area. Your employees need a space to unwind and relax throughout the day. Nobody can sit at a desk and work all day. If you fail to provide a relaxing area in the workplace, you are passively encouraging your staff to keep on working. A no-break policy – even if it is only implied – is the least productive structure for a business. Offer a space where they can enjoy a coffee, a casual chat, and some fun activities to recharge their batteries.

Do you give them the chance to talk?

Even with the best of intentions, it can be difficult to reduce workload or perceived workload. Indeed, the workplace can be a hectic environment. When someone is stressed out, they can feel overwhelmed by work. But reducing stress is a challenge in every business. What you do, however, is offer your employees the opportunity to talk about their issues, whether these are work-related or not. Online therapy programs are becoming popular in busy companies. Indeed, online therapists can provide private counseling as well as an external view of a problem. For employees who struggle with stress, anxiety, or even depressive moods, they can release their tensions and learn to shift their focus, which in turn helps to tackle their workload more effectively.

As a manager, you have a duty to keep your employees as healthy as possible. HR regulations ensure that nobody is intentionally overworked. However, it’s not uncommon for less experienced managers to miss the signs of a work crushing situation. Failure to show appreciation and to offer a relaxing workplace, for instance, can increase absenteeism and turnover rates. It’s time to keep your eyes open on the passive ways in which your staff can feel overworked!

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