Everyone wants to please their boss, but when does the desire to complete your job to the fullest become unhealthy?
I used to pull 15-hour shifts with no overtime pay even on weekends and holidays. Just me and an insane dedication to my work. I was newly hired and to me working overtime was a good way to prove my capabilities . Even without compensation, I felt fulfilled and hopeful that it’d move me up in my career. I was on call 24/7, and soon my personal relationships started to suffer and my health began to deteriorate. The feeling of accomplishment no longer held up to how burned out I felt.
It's very common to feel stressed and spread too thin at work. According a survey carried out by Everest College , 83% of workers from the US are stressed out at their jobs.
A certain degree of stress is normal. The pressure to do well, support yourself, or perfect your craft is demanding, and if left unchecked, it can take a toll on your health and well-being. According to a study conducted by the Center for Monetary and Financial Studies that looked at French workers, extra work hours per week increased the likelihood of smoking, alcohol consumption, and a lack of regular exercise, all health behaviors known to increase the risk of serious long-term ailments.
Furthermore, according to the American Psychological Association, work-related stress frequently causes burnout. This can lead to depression, proven to be linked to a variety of other health concerns such as obesity, diabetes, eating disorders, and some forms of cancer.
More companies globally are starting to recognize the adverse effects of working long hours. Last year, France introduced a law giving workers the ability to negotiate the responsibility to check emails outside standard working hours. According to a study published by French research group Eleas, more than a third of French workers use their devices to do work out-of-hours every day. This law made sure that the employees are fairly paid and prevented them from being overburdened by work.
Once you find the perfect work-life balance, you become happier and 12% more productive . Here's some tips on how you can set limits and look after yourself to find the right balance for you.
Most companies still don't discuss the importance of disconnecting and respecting employees free time. This means you may need to inform your company’s management of the dangers of overworking staff.
Remember that you come from a position of strength. If your employer is interested in hiring you it means you are valuable to them. Your boss will be open to hear your arguments especially if it means a more productive work environment.
Before you talk to your employer, arm yourself with facts on the negative effects of stressed out employees to the workplace. A report published by Health Advocate revealed that stress has a profoundly negative impact on worker productivity and is one of the major causes of employee absences.
Be prepared to compromise. Respect your boss's time and the fact that you may need to sacrifice your time in order for them to sacrifice theirs.
Do your best to disconnect from work correspondence during the weekend. You can easily end up spending hours of your day-off working without even realizing it just by scrolling through emails. If you really can’t resist set a designated time during the weekend for a quick check and then log off completely. Address occasional pressing issues out of hours but be sure it doesn't become routine.
Turn off the notifications for your work inbox. This way, you are preventing your off-hours work emails from messing with your much needed free time.
Telling your boss that you won't be available to answer emails after work hours might seem daunting , but it’s better than wasting their time waiting for you to answer. This is especially important when you have a big event or trip coming up, don't wait till the last minute and give them a heads up that you won’t be available. Waiting to let them know may make it hard for them to find an alternative way of getting work done.
Don’t be afraid to say ‘no’ to your boss if you feel they’re asking too much of you. Chances are he or she will appreciate your honesty.
Respect your boss’s freetime and receive the same treatment in return. If you expect your boss to answer your questions out of working hours don’t expect your free-time to be undisturbed by them.