Work is necessary, there is no doubt. In addition to giving us the ability to survive, it is an element that organizes our time and gives us a professional label that defines us.
However, if time is limited and adequate working conditions are provided, our health will be affected in the long run. Both physically and mentally, working more on the account hurts us, making us more miserable and less productive.
This is why it is so important to be aware of the consequences of overwork, What we will see below in addition to what can be done to avoid such a phenomenon.
Main consequences of work overload on the health of the worker
Work is a very important aspect of our lives, not just for their financial reward.
Employment is something that occupies a large part of our daily life, gives us a more or less stable schedule, which organizes our lives and gives us a certain security of order and balance. However, we often end up working harder than ourselves, sacrificing other aspects of our life and acquiring all kinds of emotional, psychological and physical issues.
Workers and their superiors try, either by their own will or by legal obligation, to respect the maximum of 8 hours of work, 8 hours of leisure and 8 hours of sleep, but this, in practice, proves very difficult to achieve. fill. Many jobs end up adding more work to their workers than what was agreed upon., Causing the dissatisfaction of your employees.
Working harder than you want means your productivity will be reduced in the long run. If we invest all our resources for a long time, both physical and cognitive, it is hoped that sooner or later we will end up working less well than we usually do under normal conditions. This adds even more tension to the worker, who fears for his work and the continuity of his income.
Overwork is something everyone experiences differently. Some work better under pressure, well managed because their boss has put in more work than usual. Others, on the other hand, feel overwhelmed faster and work less well.
Anyway, this is understood as overwork the consequence of the designation of additional functions to the worker in an excessive, disproportionate and constant manner. The worker does not feel stimulated, does lower quality work and sees his health affected.
Below we will look at the main consequences of overwork.
If the work is exhausted and exhausted for the worker, it is not surprising that, in the long run, he ends up on his own suffering from anxiety problems.
Working more for account, having to work overtime, meeting delivery deadlines or combining daily tasks with those that appear at the last minute generate stress, which prepares the body for stressful situations and affects both physical health and mental.
People who constantly suffer from anxiety they are more vulnerable to problems such as diabetes, obesity, heart and digestive problems. They tend to eat more, smoke, or engage in riskier and dysfunctional behaviors.
Depression is one of the most serious consequences of overwork, along with anxiety. Being depressed doesn’t necessarily mean crying constantly or give the feeling of being sad. It also involves irritability, apathy and a great demotivation.
Excessive work frustrates us, makes us feel like we could devote ourselves to something we love. But when we get home, we don’t want to spend time doing things we love, such as activities that are beneficial to our health like playing sports, reading, walking, spending time with loved ones, or relaxing.
This makes us even more frustrated, entering a continuous state of irritability. and dissatisfaction, compounding feelings of deep sadness at how much our occupation consumes us.
3. Burnout syndrome
In connection with stress and depression, we have the case of the famous Burnout syndrome, a problem that occurs to burn due to work. This syndrome has been recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) and it involves emotional, psychological and physical problems.
A significant proportion of workers suffer from this health problem, living in a constant state of stress and anxiety with depressive symptoms. Its prevalence in the population is increasing, so health organizations and businesses are increasingly involved in preventing it in the workplace.
4. Sleep problems
It is quite common for people who have to work overtime to get up late in the morning to work. This alters circadian cycles, causing serious long-term sleep problems.
Even when he can already sleep, the worker has difficulty falling asleep. He can’t because, in bed, he thinks about all he has left for the next day, or wonders if his boss is going to surprise him with more work.
This means that in addition to taking the time to sleep, your sleep is not repaired. and, as a result, the next day he is even more exhausted, unable to function properly in the workplace.
5. Muscle pain
Although every job is different, in each of them our musculoskeletal system suffers. We are more prone to muscle pain and injury.
In professions where you have to perform various physical efforts, if you put in too much time, the joints end up suffering, in addition to running the risk of wearing cartilage and causing injuries such as low back pain, sprains and strains.
In the case of office work, where the most common is to spend hours sitting in front of a computer, back pain is quite common. In fact, sitting in the same position for more than 20 minutes, especially with your back bent, can cause muscle damage.
6. Deterioration of social relations
There is no doubt that being more responsible means seeing our friends and family less.. The more time we spend at work, the less we can devote to our loved ones, which makes relationships enjoyable.
But not only do relationships deteriorate because of it. They are also affected because when we come home we don’t feel like talking to our family or staying with our friends. We prefer to stay in bed or rest in any other way without having to interact with other people.
7. Poor work dynamics
In addition to all these health consequences, it is expected that in the office, due to the high pressure on its employees, they begin to have relationship problems between them.
Irritability, depression, anxiety, and frustration will make workers reluctant to see themselves, even in painting, as they associate their presence with all kinds of negative feelings. All of this will turn simple misunderstandings into all kinds of conflicts., Which will decrease the productivity of the company.
How to avoid it?
To avoid work overload and its negative consequences, the company and its workers must take steps so that work does not turn into something that ends up consuming them. In addition to trying to respect the schedules stipulated in the contracts, an attempt should be made to foster a good corporate culture, Mainly linked to organization and order, in order to prevent workers from leaving work for later than they will have to work overtime.
The company, in the if it finds an overload of work, must identify the causes of this phenomenon. Once identified, you must mobilize resources to prevent this from happening again, or design protocols to manage their occurrence and avoid their detrimental effects, both on the collective productivity of the organization and on health. workers.
One of the business problems that contributes to overwork is set important and long-term work delivery deadlines, Trust their workers, leave him for the end and, seeing that the due date is approaching, they put in for hours, to the detriment of his health. A great way to avoid this is to break down tasks into smaller, more achievable short-term goals that can be easily achieved on a daily basis.
A key tool in any business should be teamwork, Especially in his intention to avoid overwork. Instead of putting all the weight on one person, putting together a team of multiple workers keeps them from burning out so much and coordinating better. Basically, it is about delegating functions, making the responsibility lie with several people instead of all in one, making it less burdensome to achieve goals.
- Gil-Monte, PR, García-Juesas, JA and Hernández, MC (2008). Influence of work overload and self-efficacy on burnout syndrome among nursing professionals: a study among nursing professionals. Inter-American Journal of Psychology, 42 (1), 113-118.