From commuting to overbearing bosses – some work stress is unavoidable, however knowing how to make things a little easier is the first step to a happier, healthier you. After all, we spend more time at work than any other place. Here’s what you need to know…
1. You’re constantly working overtime
It’s rare to find a job nowadays that allows you to leave on time, every day. Most of us will find ourselves having to work late or get in early to tick everything off our to-do list. In fact, according to a report by OnePulse, over two thirds of UK-based employees now work an extra day (8.73 hours) each week, on top of their contracted hours. Numerous studies have highlighted the health risks of constantly working beyond their contractual hours (or having very long contractual hours). Working longer hours can increase your risk of heart disease, stroke, depression and even alcoholism. There’s also evidence to suggest it actually decreases productivity and can result in poorer cognitive performance – quite the opposite to what you’re trying to achieve.
The majority of research tends to put the benchmark at 55 hours a week, but for a five-day week this still equates to 11 hours a day – most likely a good 3 hours over their contracts. The takeaway here is that long working days puts a lot of stress on your body and mind, not to mention the inability to spend any time doing anything else. Ben Barker, Director at Total Health Clinics, makes an interesting observation about how working late isn’t a habit that’s encouraged everywhere:
“Working overtime can cause your posture to become poor – something which is often prevalent for those who work longer hours or spend too much time at their desk or on their feet. As we become overworked and become tired, our posture becomes slumped as we have less energy to hold the same upright position. Interestingly, whilst in this country we ‘value’ an employee who works above and beyond their normal working hours, in Europe, and particularly Germany, an employee who constantly stays late and never leaves their desk is viewed as an inefficient worker and is not held in the same regard!”
If you’re finding that your contracted hours aren’t sufficient to get complete you work, talk to your line manager about what can be done to reduce the work load or any time consuming tasks that can be delegated elsewhere.