If you think your business is gaining benefits because your employees are working long hours, think again.
According to a study conducted by Erin Reid, a professor at Questrom School of Business at Boston University, managers were not able to tell the difference between employees who actually worked 80 hours a week and those employees who just pretended to. The study was not able to find proof that employees who worked less than 80 hours accomplished less, or that those who worked 80 hours accomplished more.
Instead of offering benefits, overworking causes stress and a lot of health problems like impaired sleep, depression, heavy drinking, diabetes, impaired memory, and heart disease. Aside from health issues, heavy workload also has a negative impact on the well-being of employees, stability of family relationships, as well as their relationship with co-workers.
These are problematic enough individually, but these issues also greatly affect your company’s bottom-line. You’ll notice problems like absenteeism, tardiness, missed deadlines and increasing health insurance costs are popping up one after another. Employees also find it hard to focus and make sound judgment calls when they log crazy hours.
So how do you keep your employees healthy and happy without compromising your business goals?
1. Set realistic deadlines. One of the reasons why employees work very long hours is to meet deadlines. Avoid delegating tasks and asking your employees to submit them as soon as possible. Remember, your employees are working on other tasks too.
2. Get your priorities straight. Create a list of tasks that need immediate attention and put non-critical tasks at the end.
3. Say thank you. Do you acknowledge and show gratitude to your employees when they accomplish a task? Saying “thank you” is only a small gesture but it means a lot to your people. It can help boost engagement, satisfaction, self-confidence and productivity.
4. Review workload. Are you giving too much work to your employees? Can they handle the work and finish everything within regular work hours? If not, then maybe you have to consider hiring another employee to help out. Remember, having overworked employees is more costly than hiring an extra hand.
5. Outsource some tasks. Outsourcing has become a popular trend because of the many benefits it provides to businesses –regardless of size and industry. You can outsource your business’ time consuming tasks so your in-house employees can focus on your core processes. Some of the tasks you can outsource include data entry, cold calling, customer service, content writing, digital marketing, bookkeeping and graphics design.
6. Enforce vacations. Everyone deserves a break. Taking a break from work has a huge effect on your employees’ health and state of mind. So if you feel your employees are working too much, it is imperative that you enforce your vacation policies. The time spent away from the office will help them recharge and be more productive when they come back.
Employee burn out is not just a possibility; it’s a reality. Keeping your employees healthy and happy will also benefit your company in the long run.