How Working Long Hours Can Hurt Your Productivity

More hours doesn?t always mean more productivity. Here?s why

The most productive employees are the ones who arrive early and leave last. Right? Not necessarily. Long hours do help some people, but in many cases, they hurt more than they help. If you?re an employer, keep some things in mind when you assign workloads. If you are an employee or an entrepreneur who must work longer hours, use your time as wisely as possible and ensure you get sufficient exercise and social time.

Here are a few reasons why those who are looking to increase productivity shouldn?t necessarily work long hours:

Higher turnover: Longer work hours mean less time for employees to achieve a healthy work-life balance. Employees are more likely to burn out and become depressed. In Singapore, people work some of the longest hours internationally, and not coincidentally, worker turnover is the most it has been since 2009. In a 2014 survey, workers cite the ineffective work-life balance as a major cause.

In addition, depressed employees are more likely to be absent and turn in poor performances. The result is overall low morale and higher turnover.
This is also a matter of economics; bringing in a new employee costs as much as two and a half times the worker?s annual salary.

Employees in ill health: When employees have less time to go to the gym, they get fatter. When they have less time to read, be creative and engage in stimulating activities, their brain also suffers. A study called the Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle Study looked at 12,000 Australians and found that the most sedentary people were 112 percent more likely to get Type 2 diabetes.

Another study of more than 4,000 office workers indicates that those who sit less than 12 hours a week decrease their risk of getting diabetes by more than 75 percent. Sitting for long periods at a time leads to high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol and more heart problems. The brain becomes foggy because the chemicals released by exercise are not being used, and fresh blood is not circulating. Workers can develop bad backs, bad necks, flabby muscles and balance problems.