Longer Hours, But For What Price?
Posted on May 13, 2013 by TNS Consulting Team (via Scott Spayd)
As organizations continue to run lean in terms of employees, what happens to the employees? For starters, they definitely take on more and more responsibility and more tasks. Unfortunately, the new normal is to expect to work long hours, but for what?
Working long hours has a different impact on an employee depending on their life outside of work. There are some that do not have family obligations and to whom working extra does not have an impact because they feel like it fills their days up. There are also employees with families and children. Working long hours can have a significant impact on these employees as their obligations in life do not only exist in the workplace.
A family friend and I were talking about work recently and she asked about what my generation believed was normal working hours. I explained that my generation unfortunately has a very skewed image of what is normal. Most of my friends after graduation faced the fact that they would probably be working long hours as a rite of passage into the workplace. The family responded that it was so sad that my generation feels like there is no choice but to accept the reality.
The reality is that working long hours is not a glamorous ordeal especially when it interferes with other aspects of your life and your health. But, when there is no other option how does one cope? Here are some quick suggestions to say sane and stay healthy:
Step away. This is one of the most challenging things for employees in high intensity jobs. To step away from their desk for even 5 minutes seems daunting, but our brains need a break even if it is brief. I fall subject to weeks of lunch at my desk, but I do my best to take a break at lunch. My goal is to try my very best to go outside for lunch and get some sunshine away from the computer glare.
Take up a hobby. Life outside of a stressful job should not stress you out more. Start doing something you really enjoy whether it is reading more, training for a race, or scrapbooking. Do something that takes your mind away from work and allows you to do something you enjoy.
Serve others. One of the easiest ways to put things into perspective is to help those less fortunate than yourself. I always leave volunteer events with a new view of my blessings and suddenly find myself complaining a whole lot less.
How do you handle long hours at the office?