Reasons why working long hours affects your productivity

Reasons why working long hours affects your productivity

Health risks of working for long hours

Health risks of working for long hours

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1. Working too long is a leading cause for poor decision making

Research has shown that when you are tired and overworked, you commit errors in your work. For example, if you are a team leader who works when you feel exhausted you may not be able to exercise emotional intelligence well. You might misread body language hence end misjudging others causing a lot of friction within your team. Also, if you deal with figures for my accounting professionals, you might find yourself misrepresenting the figures that can cost the whole company.

2. Long working hours can cause brain damage

Another survey indicates that professionals who work about 55 hours a week have poorer mental skills compared to those who work fewer than 40 hours. The report further claims that such people experience short-term memory and are unable to quickly recall words. From the survey, if you continue working for long hours you can cause long-term damage to your brain, a condition called dementia. As a workaholic, it is good to be cautious with your health. If you find yourself not recalling things faster than you were used to, do a favor to your brain.  Consider taking a mental break, work for normal hours and get recharged.

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3. It causes more stress

Remember it is very hard to be effective at work when you are stressed. You will agree with me that stress in the office is inevitable and at one point we have all had to deal with stress one way or another. However, it has been revealed that most Kenyan professionals suffer from stress that is mainly caused by long working hours and work overload. You have to remember that apart from your job, there is a personal life to deal with, most importantly your family, diet, and friends. If you spend most of your time in the office with an aim of being seen as productive, you may find yourself focusing on the job and forgetting your social life.

4. Reduced productivity 

There is no dispute on this. For example, if you are used to working for 50 hours a week compared to the required 40, do a review of the outcomes. Most likely you will notice that working longer doesn’t necessarily produce desired results. This is because you will be continuously exhausted. The more exhausted you are, the less productive you become.

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5. You will experience fatigue

I will not lie to you. I have been here and so I know. Working for long hours causes fatigue to come into your life. When you are fatigued you become sleepy, weary, easily irritated and vulnerable to sickness. Most of the time, you will be unable to concentrate which is not good for your productivity.

We all work to succeed in life. But being successful doesn’t mean you should work for long hours. Instead of working hard, consider working smart by organizing your work well and planning your time. Take action today!

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6. Higher safety risks

When fatigue increases and you become overwhelmed from long workdays, your safety is at risk. Accidents and injuries are more likely to occur in the workplace. This safety hazard, while difficult to clearly support with scientific evidence because fatigue levels are not easy to measure and quantify, is a logical concern that you should not ignore.

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7.  Risk of obesity

Demanding work schedules can contribute to obesity. Extended work hours may reduce the time spent preparing home-cooked meals, exercising and sleeping, which are risk factors for obesity.Admittedly, some of the associations between extended work hours, health and safety concerns are not conclusive. However, getting off the 40-plus-hour-a-week treadmill now is definitely a better habit for your overall well-being and productivity.

8. Heart attack 

The risk of heart disease increases markedly by 67% for people who work long hours compared to people who work the standard 7-8 hours a day. Although a number of underlying factors like high blood pressure may make a difference, working long hours does not help your heart.


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