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Why it’s important you leave (and start) work on time

2nd December 2020 Print

In the UK alone, 1 in 5 people work more than an extra day in overtime every week, which adds up to £43 billion unpaid overtime every year. So why are we working longer than we are contracted for and not getting paid?

Some people might stay late to prepare for an upcoming project or get ahead on a new brief, some people might have too much work to do in their scheduled hours so come in early to do it. It might even be that you just want to impress your boss or your coworkers. Whatever the reason, it is extremely important you try to start and leave work on time. 

Why is it a problem?

Sometimes our job roles or our devotion to the company can make us feel like we have to work our hardest all of the time. The reality is, we are all human, we all need a break, and we all have bad days. By expecting too much from ourselves we are overworking our bodies and minds, which can result in a burnout. 

Staying late at work occasionally because of a vital deadline or coming in a bit early to prepare for a meeting is fine! The problem arises when this starts to become the norm. Coming in an hour early or staying an hour late doesn’t seem like much, but this could be adding up to 25 hours or more a month. 

These extra hours can cause you to feel stressed, overworked and constantly tired. You can distance yourself mentally from your job, become inefficient in your duties, and just feel exhausted! This can also affect your home life as you might end up missing out on quality time with your kids, partners, parents, furry friends, and family.

How can you make sure you go home on time?

Why not look at an employee wellbeing program? This can help you track nutrition, weight, activity, finances and fitness. However, the best part is the way it can motivate mental wellbeing and the implementation of healthy habits. 

This won’t make you change overnight, but it will incentivize consistent behavioral change. A wellbeing program would not only reward you for good behavior, but it will help on the occasion you do have to work extended hours. By promoting mental wellbeing, it can help you to stop feeling burnt out, and help to revitalize your zest for life.

If that’s not enough, you can try to plan your time wisely. Spread your tasks out across your day, allowing for how long you might need to do them. If you don’t have time to take on any extra work, then don’t! Prioritise your duties so that if something urgent comes up you can easily adapt your schedule. 

Once it gets to the time you need to go home- do it. Even if you think your body could handle a bit more- do it. Your mental health takes priority, now more than ever. Make sure to do whatever you can to look after yourself by going home on time and practicing some self-care so that you are ready to face tomorrow.