How to Know If Overtime is Helping Or Harming Your Employees

Overtime can challenge workers

Some employees may enjoy the challenges of rewarding, intensive work, but long hours can take a toll.

Employees who work more than 40 hours per week are generally entitled to overtime pay. While employers may not want to pay 150 percent of a worker’s hourly salary, it may be necessary to meet deadlines. However, is it possible that too much overtime is bad for your workers?

Many People Are Only Productive for Eight Hours

The reason the 40 hour workweek was created was because people generally start to lose momentum after eight hours. Asking an employee to work 10 or more hours a day can actually lead to sloppy work and someone who is too burned out to enjoy what he or she does (often resulting in rising turnover). Therefore, employers may need to offer extra breaks or rest periods if they need their workers to stay late or work extra shifts.

When Is Overtime Helpful?

Asking workers to stay late can be helpful, when it is done for short periods of time. For instance, it may not be a bad thing to ask an employee to work overtime during a holiday season or for a week or two before a big project needs to be completed. The larger paycheck may help employee morale when workers are generally team players when necessary.

When Is Overtime Harmful?

Overtime can become harmful if it is required or employees have to stay late to make up for lack of manpower elsewhere. When one employee or small group of employees is asked to do the work of others who don’t show up or haven’t been replaced because of budget cuts, those who are still around can become bitter. Morale may suffer in the long-term, and employees may start looking for other jobs.

Employe morale, overtime

Too much time on the clock can affect employee morale.

How Can You Tell If Overtime Helps Meet Company Goals?

For the most part, workers just want a sense of balance in their lives. If they have to work 60 hours one week, it may be a good idea to give them a day off the next week. As long as a worker still has time to relax outside of work, he or she won’t mind putting in extra time when necessary.

As an employer, it is your job to get the most from your people. This means providing balance and motivation to do great work each day. By only asking workers to put in more time in small doses, they will enjoy the larger paychecks that can be put to good use when things return to normal at work.

About the Author:

Emma is a freelance writer from Boston, MA. She writes most often on education and business. Information used in this article was provided by Pacific Timesheet. Find Emma on Twitter @EmmaSturgis2