How many times have managers praised workers that “go the extra mile” and “rise and grind” to put in extra time to get the work done?
Enthusiasm for work are positive traits in any team member, and those traits has developed into a culture that values and expects overwork. Often good employees are willing to – or feel pressure to – take on extra shifts or projects, resulting in untracked and unrewarded overtime. And this, studies show, causes fatigue-related misjudgments and accidents on the job, and it can lead to mental and physical illness.
The added stress everyone is experiencing due to the Covid pandemic, coupled with the blurred work/life lines created by working from home or added pressures placed on so-called essential workers, is only making the overwork crisis worse, putting more and more people at risk. The pandemic has also put demands on workers by imposing a need to adapt to new technologies for how work is done and new business models for how organisations operate.
For manual labour workers, fatigue due to overtime can lead to accidents, while for administrative or desk professionals the chances of making poor decisions or giving faulty advice increase with overwork. How dangerous is overworking, and how can the various actors—government, employers, workers—combat this risky culture of overtime? Read on to find out more.