Study Explains Why Trying Too Hard at Work Is Bad for You
Since, well, forever, we’ve been told that working harder is equivalent to working better, not only at work, but in broader life. But a study by the University Of London says the truth might be closer to the opposite: Working consistently too hard is not only bad for your well-being, but for your career, too.
Researchers who undertook the study collected data from more than 50,000 subjects from 36 European countries (and all available industries), to analyse the effects of overtime work and “work intensity.”
More specifically, the team looked at the relative amount of effort put into one’s job, measures of well-being (stress, fatigue, and job satisfaction) as well as career-related outcomes like job security, recognition, and career prospects.
What they found was that “increased work intensity was associated with reduced well-being and inferior work outcomes,” meaning that your boss won’t be impressed – even in higher-level occupations – and the negative effects of working too hard (like stress, fatigue, and burnout) outweigh the benefits.
While this means you should ease up a little on those long hours (for your sanity, primarily) we wouldn’t suggest slacking off entirely. It’s one thing to know you shouldn’t work so hard, and another to convince your boss that what’s good for you is good for them.