Working long hours is not healthy for employees

A recent article discussed the health concerns of employees working in excess of 8 hours per day and 60+ hours per week. Medical experts are seeing the signs of stress in employees who “binge work.” Heart disease and psychological stress are the leading causes of employees’ medical problems.  Further, binge-working can also have a disastrous effect on your family and social life away from work.

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Employees logging excessive hours also fall into unhealthy traps of over-eating, binge drinking (caffeinated and alcoholic beverages) and not following any type of exercise routine. Often, these unhealthy habits lead to employees with symptoms of exhaustion and depression, which in turn, increases their requests for sick leave. In some cases, binge working leads to poor(er) work performance than if the employee had simply worked a regular 40 hour work week.

You might believe technology is to blame – with employees accessing email and instant messages all hours of the day and night; responding to colleagues 24-7.
But is it really the root cause?

Younger employees, determined to make certain their future is secure with their current employer, often take to social media to document (brag about) their long hours. We’ve already seen news reports of deaths from working excessive hours in young banking and marketing professionals in Indonesia, China and the UK.

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Author: Victor Janulaitis

M. Victor Janulaitis is the CEO of Janco Associates. He has taught at the USC Graduate School of Business, been a guest lecturer at the UCLA's Anderson School of Business, a Graduate School at Harvard University, and several other universities in various programs.