Most of us are familiar with jobs offering overtime hours extending beyond a 40-hour work week. For entrepreneurs and employees creating their schedule, working long hours is often the norm, making it difficult to disengage mentally from work. In turn many employees. Electronic devices intended to increase productivity are being used throughout the day, evening, and on weekends for work-related responsibilities. There are great benefits in using technology, yet it’s crucial to diligently balance work and social life. Whether you work a fixed schedule or different hours of the day employee safety begins with education. Taking positive steps when working extended hours promotes health, safety, and work productivity.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) comments on long work shifts, “According to U.S. National Health Interview data from 2010, almost 19% of working adults work 48 hour or more per week and over 7% worked 60 hours or more. Both shift work and long work hours have been associated with health and safety risks.” Sleep deprivation can affect concentration, alertness, mood, and general health. Attentiveness to details is critical in certain occupations like nursing, chemists, pharmacists, employees operating heavy machinery, and others. Feeling tired, stressed, fatigued, or burnout not only affects work performance, but also safety concerns for yourself and others.
The University of Surrey documents a study by the Journal of Science on the effects of sleep loss on various brain regions. “Research has significant implications for our understanding of how the brain is locally affected by internal time of day and sleep-wake cycles. Results shed light on why shift workers and people working very long hours struggle to pay attention and concentrate on their job, in particular in the early morning hours,” documents The University of Surrey. Working extended hours coupled with consistent lack of sleep can only raise health concerns. When working overtime hours, consider ways to ensure adequate sleep and proper nutrition each day. Accommodate your work schedule to allow times of relaxation. Perhaps take a power nap during one of your breaks or enjoy a 15-minute meditation? The idea is to find creative ways to take breaks, eat nutritious foods, and get adequate sleep each night when working extended hours.
5 Tips When Working Overtime Hours:
1. Don’t skip meals. Healthy foods fuel your body and mind. When working long hours, it’s important to fuel the brain and body with nutritious foods.
2. Take a break. Disconnecting for a few minutes can increase creativity and focus.
3. Maintain a regular sleep schedule. To be your most productive and keep mentally sharp it’s vital to get a good night’s rest. If having trouble sleeping early, refrain from having caffeine in the later afternoon.
4. Make times for activities that bring joy. Lasting success is grounded with balance. Hobbies and activities that create meaning, joy, and purpose enhance mood.
5. If overwhelmed talk with your employer. If you feel exhausted and depleted with all the job responsibilities, voice your concerns. At times the employer is not fully aware of the workload or how you’re coping with working extended hours. If you’re feeling burnout be sure to express your concerns to your supervisor.
*This article is for inforamtional purposes only and not intended to direct health advice. For health questions please inquire with your physician.