3 Ways to Keep Employees from Working Excessive Overtime

Stressed man sitting at his desk

Yesterday, we gave you three reasons why you should be concerned about employees working excessive overtime.

As we mentioned, we don’t think overtime is necessarily a bad thing–we all have to do it every once in a while–but when overtime begins to become a normal part of our routine, that’s when we see a lot of problems arise.

To help you prevent that, here are three ways you can keep your employees from working excessive overtime. Take a look below:

  1. Have realistic work expectations. Be reasonable when putting together projects. As much as we’d love to have everything put out at a lightning-fast pace, it’s just not always possible. In addition to that, forcing your employees to speed up their work can lead to less than desirable results. In most cases, quality trumps quantity, so be sure to divvy up the workload fairly, and allow a reasonable amount of time for completion.
  2. Put a cap on overtime hours. You may also want to consider putting a cap on overtime hours. Putting a detailed policy in place that they can reference can help to ensure that employees don’t overdo it when it comes to working overtime. This is a much better option than making them or your supervisors guess as to how much overtime is too much overtime. Some companies put the cap at a monthly rate, while others choose to do so annually; choose whichever is right for you. 
  3. Hire more employees. If business is booming but workloads are getting excessively heavier, then you might want to consider hiring a few extra hands to even things out. While it can be hard to match staff levels to the work demand, sometimes it is a must. Plus, every big company started somewhere, so don’t be afraid to let your company grow!

Don’t fall prey to the vicious cycle of excessive overtime. Making sure that your employees are well thought of can do wonders for your company. Not only will you have happier and healthier employees, but you’ll also have a more productive and efficient workforce–and that will help you on the road to running a successful business.

Have any tips on avoiding excessive overtime that you’d like to add to our list? Let us know by connecting with us on Facebook or Twitter. We’d love to hear from you!

photo credit: Alan Cleaver via photopin cc

3 Reasons Why You Should Be Concerned About Employees Working Excessive Overtime

two men talking over a blueprint

For most employers who put their employees on salary, overtime seems like a gift because it’s free work.

Sadly though, this isn’t always the case. The reality is that overtime can lead to a lot of problems for employees and in turn, end up being a major pain for the employers when things go south.

To be clear, we’re not saying all overtime is bad. Every once in a while, we might have to come into the office on the weekend, especially when a client needs something right away, and that is perfectly okay. But when overtime becomes a weekly, or worse, daily ritual, we begin to get a little concerned.

Today, we are going to give three reasons why you should be concerned about employees working excessive overtime. Take a look below:

  1. Overtime can lead to burnout. Consistent overtime can lead to burnout pretty quickly if you’re not careful. Not only is this bad for productivity, it’s also really bad for your employees’ health. In turn, you run the risk of running some of your best employees into the ground, which will most likely lead to higher turnover rates and a narrowing of your talent pool.
  2. Overtime can be a poor reflection of your company. Sure, you may find an employee here or there making up for lost time because they had a little extra on their plate that week, but more likely than not, if your employees are clocking in an excessive amount of overtime, then it has more to say about your company than about them. 

    Excessive overtime can have a number of sources, whether it’s from poor communication, a poor organization system/method, hiring managers neglecting to hire employees with a good work ethic, etc. But all in all, it means that your company as a whole isn’t efficient enough, which in turn affects your productivity as well as your employer branding.

  3. Overtime can lead to employee dissatisfaction. Above all, overtime is terrible for employee satisfaction. No one wants to feel like a slave to their job, and no one feels it more than the person who is obligated to come in every weekend or stays a few hours later than the rest of their co-workers.

What do you think about overtime? Do you find yourself or your employees doing it frequently? Let us know by connecting with us on Facebook or Twitter!

photo credit: Seattle Municipal Archives via photopin cc

Are You or Your Employees Experiencing Holiday Job Fatigue?

Let’s be honest. As much as we love the holidays, they can certainly be stressful–we have to figure out time to go shopping, plan out our holiday dinners, entertain out of town family… the list goes on and on.

By we don’t only have to worry about what to get little Suzy for Christmas, or where we are going to put up the grandparents for their stay. We also have to worry about what is going on at work.

Between getting the time off, the deadlines, the extra amount of work added from taking time off, worrying about whether or not your co-workers will have things done on time or need your help to speed up the process, the work holiday parties, and the many number of surveys and reviews that are handed out every year, there is a lot happening at work during the holidays.

Suffice to say, all of this can end up giving us some pretty bad holiday job fatigue, which in turn affects our performance at work. In some cases, it might even result in accidents at work, causing injury to yourself or others.

With that in mind, let’s talk about a few ways to balance your life and work in order to prepare for the holidays.

Pace yourself.

The holidays happen every year, so why not pace yourself by planning ahead? Most companies require that you take time off well in advance, so don’t wait around. Get well ahead of the game so when it comes time to actually get ready for the holidays, you aren’t stuck worrying about the work that is building up at your office.

Be realistic.

Sometimes, the best way to prepare yourself for the holidays is by being realistic. Knowing your limits on what you can and cannot do in and out of work will help reduce the likelihood of holiday job fatigue. If you have a big assignment due before the holidays, it might be time to reconsider all of those holiday parties you plan on attending, or the ones you plan on having.

Make sure you know what you are getting yourself into before you make any huge commitments around the holidays.

Don’t overwork yourself for overtime pay. 

As we mentioned above, the risk of injury is more likely when experiencing fatigue.

Perhaps you’re burning the midnight oil to help pay for all of the holiday shopping you’ve done, but as Brian M. Mittman, New York Disability and Workers Compensation lawyer of Markhoff & Mittman, P.C., points out, “consider that a serious injury or accident will leave you far deeper in financial trouble than if you do not take on extra work you can not reasonably handle.”

Not every job is prone to serious risks or injury, but just because you are working an office job doesn’t mean that you can’t get worn out and get sick or have an accident on the way home–all of which would definitely put a damper on your holiday.

While the holidays can bring with them a lot of fun and exciting times, they can also unfortunately leave us fatigued at work. There’s not catch-all way for avoiding holiday job fatigue, but planning well in advance and taking some of these tips should help you get the most out of your holiday season at work.