While most of us overwork at some point, we need to consider whether we are doing more harm than good. Trying to increase work productivity and churn out more results we automatically believe we need to push ourselves to work overtime. While overtime does mean we are spending more time at our work, it also means we are taxing our minds and bodies beyond their usual limits. So ultimately, how does this impact us, our mental and physical health and even our work output?
“I think that overwork is good when you need that pressure, but if you continue to work in the overwork mode, this is what leads to burnout. Overworking may just mean working all the hours you can to get a project done faster. But many see it as a scary thing as they fear it will be too much for them. But usually, you can work at a fast pace for a small amount of time to get something done, so just be responsible with it. If you are able to control your work in this way, you can utilize the overwork when you can, and avoid burnout at the same time.”
Thomas Fultz, CEO and Founder Coffeeble
“I think overwork is extremely bad. We all have deadlines to meet and we're only human so it's impossible for us not to hit roadblocks along the way. We can't speed up our process anymore, but we can slow it down. This seems counterproductive but overworking causes stress and anxiety which causes us to not think straight and make more mistakes. If we take some time to rejuvenate and relax, we are likely to reach our desired destination not only faster but with a much higher quality end product. Take your time and you'll not only be healthier but have made better work.”
Alex Magnin, CEO/Founder alexmagnin.com
“Overworking leaves you with almost little time to reflect on what's going on in your life. Working too hard on a consistent basis can have a detrimental impact on your health, relationships, happiness, and general quality of life. When you work long hours on a daily basis, there's a strong possibility you're not eating well, which can lead to many health problems. Some individuals are so focused on their work that it becomes overwhelming for them to handle, and they become unable to cope with the stress. As a result, work becomes a bad addiction as well as a source of dissatisfaction.”
Charles McMillan, Businessman and Founder of Stand With Main Street
“As someone who built a company from scratch, I can tell you with confidence overworking is a slow death. Throughout my tenure, I've firsthand experience with how overworking seeps into people's lives, destroying them from within. The amount of colleagues, both ex and current, I've seen skip their child's first milestones, parents' sickness episodes, and more right off the bat explains just how deeply entrenched this problem can get. You'd never have expected to miss these things a few years before, so watch just how powerful the snowball effect is. In a round of company surveys, we discovered 82% of employees admitted to undervaluing their mental and physical health for work at some point or the other. During the same time, we were trying to map our productivity - which fell as the aforementioned number rose. As someone who's been in this situation far too many times, I knew I had to put a stop to this practice. We have a number of leave days our employees can claim, for their mental and physical health both- which can also be reworked depending on the case. Furthermore, we encourage people to actually avail these instead of letting them bundle up unnecessarily by offering incentives around the office. These can be monetary, compensated for food or outings - and have proven to get people off their desks and back into the real world. After this program was established, the productivity rate went up by 43% within the first quarter! Not to mention, the number of applicants received for open roles pushed us to expand our team and pursue more efficient recruitment methods. When people hear about a positive company culture that truly cares about its employees, the best talent comes forward.”
Alex Williams, CEO FindThisBest LLC
“Overworking is bad because it wreaks havoc on one's health. For instance, people who would like to stay awake to work until late at night drink more than five cups of coffee. Some take a break by smoking. Some compensate for their lack of personal time by eating heavy meals past their original meal time. Some show up for work daily even if they have slept only for 2-3 hours a day. Over time, these unhealthy habits cause them to develop health problems such as poor circulation, increased weight, high cholesterol, lack of energy, poor concentration, heart problems, and many more. In my experience, it took a complete lifestyle change to lessen if not eliminate all the damages I've caused my body because of overworking.”
Pavel Ladziak is a photographer and fitness advocate and founder of The Beard Struggle
“There was a time that I was unstoppable at work. I overworked because, in digital marketing, time is money. I was consumed by the idea that if I put more hours into what I am doing, I will get more results and I'll achieve things fast. During those days, I would skip my meals, drink more coffee and take power naps instead of long hours of sleep. I sacrificed my weekends for desk work so that I could spend my weekdays on brainstorming sessions and meetings. I became concerned with my health when I noticed that I experienced frequent headaches, back pain, and palpitation until I was not able to go to work for days because I got sick. That was the turning point in my life because I almost lost my job. I switched my busy lifestyle into a healthier one. No more overworking.”
Yurii Brown, Health enthusiast and founder of CoffeeGeekLab.com
“The bad effects of being overworked always outweigh its good effects. The clients I’ve dealt with before complained about feelings of exhaustion and stress whenever they deal with too much work the body is more than capable of doing. Their end result was weight gain, decreased concentration, and poor sleep. Overall, its short-term effects may benefit the employee and employer. On the other hand, overworking will be destructive in the long run.”
Lianne Sanders, Content Editor / Licensed Yoga Instructor, Total Shape
It appears the general consensus is overwork won’t yield more or better results in the long-term. Everyone has put in those extra hours here and there, and ocassionally that’s fine. However, to make a habit out of it can prove detrimental to our health, our personal lives and our work productivity too.