5 reasons to stop working late
Wednesday, January 4, 2017
Posted by: Barbara Francella
By Charlotte Sweeney
Finding the right work/life balance has been a challenge for many women. Many argue work/life balance doesn’t exist – it’s more about what works at any given time.
However you define work/life balance, here are five reasons you should stop working and leave the office on time.
Related: How to put mindfulness to work for you
1. Long hours can have a negative impact on your health
Researchers pooled data from 25 studies that included more than 600,000 individuals and found the risk of developing a stroke increased by a third in people who worked more than 55 hours a week, compared with individuals with traditional 9-to-5 working hours. The association of long working hours with heart disease was less, but significant: a 13-percent increase.
Research links working long hours to a mostly sedentary lifestyle, increased levels of stress and unhealthy eating choices.
2. It’s a bad habit
A culture of staying late and working overtime has become common for many workers. Pressures in the workplace and the expectation of being seen in the office is a reality for more than a third of those questioned in research by British health insurer AXA PPP.
They found that unpaid overtime has become a fact of life for one in four employees, who clock at least seven hours over their contracted, and salaried, working time each week.
3. Work expands into the time we have available
It’s easy to assume that those who work longer hours are more productive and achieve more than their peers who work shorter hours. But a study from researchers at Boston University found this isn’t true. Managers in the study could not tell whether an employee was actually putting in the long hours or merely pretending to do so. They could find no evidence that long hours had any impact on the amount of work done.
4. Time away makes us more creative
We've all experienced being outside of work when suddenly a solution to a work situation has popped into our minds, Many claim they get their best ideas in the shower. Taking time out of the workplace enables you to take yourself away from problems and challenges and see them in a different light.
Even Albert Einstein had this down to a fine art, stating, “Although I have a regular work schedule, I take time to go for long walks on the beach so that I can listen to what is going on inside my head.”
5. Work is only one part of our lives
Every aspect of our lives is increasingly busy and for many, careers are a priority. But taking time to pursue other interests makes us a much more interesting human and enables us to put other aspects of our lives into perspective!
Recognized by The Economist as one of the Top 50 Diversity Professionals in the World, Charlotte Sweeney has dedicated much of her life to championing universal social mobility and the benefits of a diverse workforce in business. She is author, with Fleur Bothwick, of Inclusive Leadership: The Definitive Guide to Developing and Executing an Impactful Diversity and Inclusion Strategy Locally and Globally.
Views expressed in blogs, posts and user comments are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Network of Executive Women or its Officers, Board members and corporate partners.
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