Most people inherit the notion that harder work leads to more (and quicker) promotions, resulting in more money and a greater sense of achievement.
Contrary to the assumption that working harder equates to working better, a new study has shown that working too hard consistently will not only negatively impact on your wellbeing, but impact on your career too.
Researchers from City University analysed the effects of intensified working patterns and long hours, the amount of effort put into an individual’s job task against measures of wellbeing (stress, fatigue and job satisfaction), as well as career-related outcomes. Data was collated from more than 500,000 people from over 30 European countries.
Researchers revealed that there was a correlation between an increased work intensity and reduced wellbeing and inferior work outcomes in terms of job security and career prospects.
Results suggested that the negative effects of working too hard, such as stress, fatigue, and burnout, outweigh the futile pleasure gained from showing dedicated to the company by going that extra mile.
Although employers’ value dedicated employees who are good at their jobs, many employers are said to be the main driving force behind an overworked workforce. And once an employee gets to a state of burnout, it is not so easy to get out of.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that 526,000 workers were suffering from work-related stress or anxiety in 2016/17. This subsequently resulted in 12.5million working days lost.
Writing in Harvard Business Review, Eric Garton, coauthor of Time, Talent, Energy: Overcome Organisational Drag and Unleash your Teams Productive Power, believes it might not be the individual’s fault for overworking, with burnouts a product of a company’s culture.
“Executives need to own up to their role in creating the workplace stress that leads to burnout—heavy workloads, job insecurity, and frustrating work routines that include too many meetings and far too little time for creative work,” he wrote. “Once executives confront the problem at an organisational level, they can use organisational measures to address it.”