Is it Worth Working Extra Hours?

2 min read

The irony comes when an employee is asked to work extra hours because of some important work. Ideally, both companies and employees don’t prefer to opt for extra hours. According to my research, working extra hours can affect the performance in work in both ways; positive or negative.

It seems, these days everyone is working harder and harder. But, is all that time and energy leading to better results?

For many, working extra hours remains a “medal of honour.” Lots of professionals feel that this is something they need to struggle for, because, as everybody knows, “hard work pays off.” But is this true? From 1950’s, a lot of studies have been done on workers’ productivity. This was also the time when Labour Unions were gaining powers in most of the countries of world. This decade was most crucial and faced most of the strikes and protests.

Most of these studies produced the same results; employees do not deliver added productivity when working extra hours. Nevertheless, working hours in office have increased by more than 30% in last two decades. IT sector experienced a major rise in working hours. Law states that an employee should not be forced to work for more than 9 hours a day, however, an average IT sector employee works 12 hours a day. One should also not that there are employees who willingly exceed their limits by pushing the walls of working hours and delivering desired results.

Is it worth Working Extra Hours?


Spending more time at the office is more psychological than anything else. Many people believe that, the more hours they work, the more important they are. They even considers themselves “hard working” and “intelligent”.

My research study shows that working extra hours reduces performance of an employee by 20-28% on an average. Major decline was faced by Financial Market experts, who are not supposed to work more than 6 hours a day. All the financial markets roughly operates for 6-7 hours a day, only because of employee productivity.

Is it worth Working Extra Hours?

Why Employees Prefer Working Extra Hours:Is it worth Working Extra Hours?

  • Some employees believes; working overtime makes them hard worker and in turn intelligent in their domain.
  • Some employees believes; working overtime creates an image of them as a hard-working person, so they tend to work extra hours.
  • Incentives and Overtime Pay.
  • Some employees work hard just to take a leave in future.
  • Promotion and Appraisals.
  • Office Culture and Climate plays a major role in extra productivity. Google faced many challenges at early ages and countering all of them, they learned “how to make their company a better place to work.”
  • Making up for a lagging work: Many employees don’t want to delay their work for next day, thus they work extra time. They think, delaying work for a day or sometimes a week may reduce the quality of the project.
  • Family plays a major role in an employees decision to work extra hours. Married men and women may work late hours at office to reduce their contact with family or distant themselves from troubles that will affect their performance in office.
  • Ideally, employees think that growth of company will help in personal growth. And, they are also afraid of losing what they have built.

Disadvantages of Working Extra Hours:

  • Blood Pressure: Employees tends to get high/low BP because of over work. Sometimes it could be disastrous.
  • Tension and headache
  • Distress
  • Sitting too long
  • Sleep Disorders
  • Cardiovascular Problems
  • Eye Strain

While exceeded expectations are dangerous, and what it takes is still a puzzle, it is also critical to answer, whether an employee is keeping an work/life balance in his/her outlook.

Spending time with family and friends is as important as work.

As James Patterson has said, “Imagine life is a game in which you are juggling five balls. The balls are called work, family, health, friends, and integrity. And you’re keeping all of them in the air. But one day you finally come to understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. The other four balls…are made of glass. If you drop one of these, it will be irrevocably scuffed, nicked, perhaps even shattered.”

Mordor Intelligence

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