Overtime In the Modern Workplace.
Working overtime is not exactly a new thing. It is seen as being a good way to prove your dedication to the company you work for and your role in the workplace. It also gives you a chance to earn higher pay, or make up for work and lost time- in the case you may have fallen sick
However, overtime can often be overly tempting, as it can end up leading to you spiralling into a lifestyle where you fail to maintain a healthy work-life balance.
Overtime will only be productive if you are happy and joyful, and you want to do it, if it makes you miserable, or you do not enjoy it, then it is a bit of a pointless action.
So, what is it exactly?
Overtime is a reference to hours worked by an employee beyond their regular schedule of working hours. Most employers will pay you extra for working more hours than you are contracted to do. However, the amount extra you get varies.
This can vary based on the company and the job that you do.
Some salaried employees will be exempt from receiving overtime pay, typically if they earn a salary. Your HR department will be able to tell you more about this in detail and how it works for you, your job, and your role in the company.
Is It A Good Thing?
Is it a good thing? That depends on your own opinion really and how you manage your time. Some will have positive views, others negative.
For some it depends on the pay, look at CreditNinja’s view on overtime pay.
Whether it is a good thing or a bad thing is totally dependent on how it is handled. For example, working a lot of overtime for little money does not balance out, and you will find your mental health and social life suffering for a pittance.
If you are paid enough and manage your extra hours responsibly, it can be worth doing so.
Let’s take a look at both sides of the argument.
What benefits are there for the employee? Well, you earn more company, and this can be quite a lot more than your usual hourly amount. You can expand on how much you make and save up for vacations, Christmas, and birthdays.
You can also advance your career through doing so, as you prove your loyalty to the company and that you are reliable and motivated in doing your job. It gains you extra points with your superiors.
We could also argue that if you have taken time off due to sickness, you could use overtime to catch up on work, lost hours, and lost pay in some cases, making the financial strife of the situation less of a burden.
For employers, it is a great thing because it means that even in the busiest times, there is no need to hire extra staff, and it can help build healthy employee-employer relations and staff may feel more appreciated when they are earning extra.
However, even though there is a lot of good to say, there are some negative things too.
As an employee, you will want to take breaks when you work overtime, which can cause a loss of focus and productivity as your working hours increase.
Working longer hours can also take a toll on your mental and physical health, and lead to job dissatisfaction. Depending on the job that you do, it can also be dangerous to work too much overtime. Especially in physical jobs, where health and safety are concerned.
Furthermore, working overtime too much can have a negative impact on our social lives. This may seem like a small issue when paired up against making extra money to enjoy outside of work. However, it can be a major issue.
If you lose out on your social life and family time, this can cause conflicts and issues with your mental health.
Similarly, it can cause exhaustion, even in non-physical jobs. Working requires effort, no matter the job, and if you are spending more time doing overtime, and are therefore at work more than you are at home, you can be making a beeline for burn-out.
Burnout is a phenomenon in which the body becomes exhausted, which can lead to a bad mood, tiredness, ill health, and more.
For employers, while overtime works well, it can mean there is a higher overhead, and it can end up diminishing returns if productivity starts to decline with burnout or lack of focus.
If too much overtime is asked for then employers can expect to find a tired and stressed workforce, which is not a productive workforce, or a happy one.
Is It For You?
So, should you test the overtime waters? Sure, depending on company policy, you are more than welcome to do so.
However, make sure that you manage your overtime effectively. Set yourself goals and limits, and learn when to say no, to your superiors and to yourself.
It is also useful to identify when you are at your most productive. Night owls may do a better job picking up overtime at night, whereas early birds could try and pick up some overtime earlier in the day.
Be strategic with your overtime hours, make a plan and keep to it. You can pinpoint when you have big projects on the horizon and use it for the moments when overtime will best serve you.
You also need to decide if you do need the extra money, overtime can be better than getting a second job if you need extra cash, however, if you do not need extra money do not stretch yourself too thin just for some pocket money.
Finally, do not be afraid to speak to your superiors, ask if they require extra work picked up. Try to fathom if they valve members who put in extra hours, if so, it could bump up your position and even your paycheck in the future. You might get recognition for your hard work.
Is it for you? Only you can decide.