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Are You An Overworked Employee?

Published: Monday 12th August 2019

A survey has found that many UK workers are too focused on work to care properly about their own health and wellbeing. But that’s a big mistake, not just for workers, but for the businesses they work for too. It has been proven in countless studies that the wellbeing of employees can have a direct impact on the health of the company they work for.

Desperate businessman working in the office late at night and overloaded with work, his desktop is covered with paperwork. Overworked concept.

Worried about taking sick leave? You’re not alone

Research carried out by BUPA and Babylon Health found that seven in ten employees delayed seeking medical advice when they should have, despite the fact that most UK employers have no problem with a worker taking time off to deal with health issues. Despite that, 32% of employees play down their illness and 72% feel too busy to take time off for healthcare. Even worse, 92% have gone into work sick. 51% of these said it was because they were afraid they wouldn’t be paid, while another 22% said they didn’t want to ‘get into trouble’.

The reality is, while these employees think that they’re doing the business a favour, the opposite is the case. Presenteeism isn’t just bad for worker health, it’s bad for business too.

Businessman having cold in the head and sitting at workplace

Work-related stress is taking its toll on the workforce

Going to work when ill isn’t the only factor causing issues in the workplace. Overwork and work-related stress can seriously affect performance and productivity – and result in serious health problems down the line for those constantly under pressure to manage an excessive workload. Most businesses understand this and will take action to rectify issues related to an excessive workload. But workers themselves don’t always recognise the signs of overwork and think that, by taking on more, they are performing better, when in reality, this only leads to underperformance and work-related stress. Which is why it’s so important for workers to know the symptoms associated with overwork.

Stressed, crying, screaming young woman in corporate office. Work-related stress concept.

Signs that you might be suffering from work-related stress

  • Losing your composure in stressed situations
  • Failing to complete tasks due to lack of time
  • Sleeping problems due to lack of time or work worries
  • Eating or drinking too much due to stress
  • Fatigue, difficulty concentrating and feeling de-motivated

By spotting these tell-tale signs, employees can take remedial action and get back on track for a happier, more rewarding work life. If any of these indicators resonate with you, look at your work habits. Are you taking time out for lunch, or eating at your desk? Do you take enough breaks? Do you start early and stay late regularly? Once you can recognise the factors that cause you to feel stress in the workplace, you can do something about them.

Young asian woman resting at office when overworked, woman working concept.

Ask for help

It might simply be that you’re taking on more work than you can complete on a daily basis. In that case, instead of volunteering for every job that comes along, ask for help. If you feel that overwork is as a result of being pressured into taking on too much work, talk to your line manager. And if that doesn’t get results, talk to HR. Make sure you know your employee rights in situations like this.

In the end, your health is your wealth, and it’s more important than your job itself.

Of course, you can also choose to move on in your career and find something that’s better suited to your health and desired work life balance. If this is something you’d like to consider, start with a job search at Zoek and discover over 180,000 fresh UK job opportunities.

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