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Small Business Employee Benefits and HR Blog

HR Tips: Working Late is Hurting Your Small Business

It’s an easy thing to do - work a full 8 hour day and then go home to work another 4 or 5 hours. But, is it good for your small business to be doing this every day? No. We’re here to talk about why working late into the night is actually hurting your small business and how to break this bad habit.

Is Working Late Really That Bad?HR tip - working late is hurting your small business

Let’s be honest, 24 hours in a day never seems to be enough, does it? But, this doesn’t mean working all 24 hours in a day is the best thing to do. Studies show that sleeping less than 5 hours a day doubles your risk of heart attacks or strokes—something clearly not worth the risk. Now, maybe you’re not the one who’s going home and working late into the night, but your employees are. Still a bad habit? Definitely.

Why?

While it might seem fantastic that your dedicated employees are working long hours, the truth is it hurts your business.

How is Working Late Hurting Your Small Business?

Allowing your employees to work a full 8 to 9 hour day and then go home and work almost an entire shift before going to bed is hurting your small business. Actually, it’s killing it. Your employees need their sleep and their time away from work in order to come in to work every day rejuvenated and ready for a new day.

In fact, did you know that studies have shown that employees who work too much have a high risk of depression (source)? Let’s face it, depressed, over-worked, burnt-out employees are all a disaster waiting to happen and will result in decreased productivity and higher turnover rates.

How Can You Break this Bad Habit?

If you want to break this habit, you’ve got to realize the importance of sleep and personal time. Furthermore, you’ll have to invest in more employees if it’s really taking your current staff 16 hour days to complete a task. A question you should ask yourself is “Is it possible to get all of our work done in an 8 hour day?

Absolutely.

If you don’t think it is, it may be time for you to sit down and re-assess the way you’re running your small business.

What’s the best way to make sure you and your employees are only working 8 hour days? Have each department and yourself make a list of everything they do in a week. Go through and weed out the items that aren’t really making a positive difference in your small business. Find out what’s most effective and stick to it rather than wasting time on what isn’t working. It is often the case that 20 percent of your daily activities are driving nearly 100 percent of your results. Work hard to identify that 20 percent.

Related: You’re Wasting Time - 7 Time Management Tips for Business Owners

Though it will take time to break the habit of overworking yourself and your employees, the end result will be well-rested employees (including yourself), more efficient work, and healthier lifestyles.

Conclusion

Whether it’s you or your employees, working late into the night, being overworked, tired, and burnt-out is one of the worst things you can do to your small business. Many small businesses feel there is no other way to operate, but there is - prioritizing. As you identify which tasks in a day are most effective, prioritize them, and you’ll begin to see you and your employees can get by working an 8 hour day. Plus, your employees will be happier, more energized, and healthier over the long run.

What ideas do you have to cut down the amount of overtime employees are working? Comment below and let us know!

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