Should You Ask Your Staff To Work Overtime?

Employee falling asleep on his deskWith the ever-increasing job demands, many employers are requiring their staff to work overtime.

This counts as any time in excess of the regular working schedule, usually 40 hours.

Some companies pay for overtime, while others do not. In fact, The Independent states that one in five UK employees works seven hours of overtime a week that are unpaid.

Individuals that are most affected by this are teachers, those working in the finance and legal industries, as well as media and health professionals.

Although the UK laws allow employees to opt out of working more than 48 hours a week, many professionals are afraid to do so at the risk of putting their jobs in jeopardy.

Therefore, they end up working continuous long hours without saying anything.

However, making employees work overtime can backfire in several ways for you and the staff, as we explain in this article.

Money – While there is no specific law to pay employees more for working overtime, as in some other countries, such as the United States, many firms still do that. If managers require employees to stay over 40 hours, they may end up paying the staff members at one and a half to two times their regular salary rate. While you may need the extra labour, this strategy usually ends up costing companies much more money than hiring an additional part-time employee at the standard rate to complete the necessary work.

Burnout – It can be hard enough to juggle a full working week with personal responsibilities, but it becomes next to impossible for the individuals that are required to work constant overtime hours. Most people end up with little to no rest or sleep, which catches up with them, and makes them feel burnt out, as well as influences their job performance.

Health Problems – Individuals that work too much often find themselves faced with health problems. The anxiety and stress associated with constant work tends to drive up blood pressure and heart rate. The lack of sleep or rest can lead to stomach and digestion problems, as well as headaches. In fact, according to Science Daily, a Finnish study proved that excess overtime leads people to a higher rate of depression.

While requiring or asking staff members to work overtime is within the law, there are other aspects to consider before doing so on a constant basis. While there is always work to be done, causing disadvantages to both the employees and the company is not the best route to take. Consider hiring part time employees to fill in the gap, or restructuring the office environment to be more productive throughout regular business hours.

Many thanks

Mark Williams

Head of Training

MTD Training   

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Updated on: 27 April, 2015

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