“Burn, Baby, Burn” – The Dangers of Working to Excess

More than ever, it is imperative for businesses to prioritise employee wellbeing, promote a healthy work-life balance, and cultivate a supportive work culture that values rest, rejuvenation and personal fulfilment alongside professional success.

“Burn, Baby, Burn” – The Dangers of Working to Excess

28 Mar 2024

In the fast-paced world of business, the pressure to perform and excel often leads to individuals working to excess. Whilst dedication and hard work are viewed as commendable traits, pushing oneself beyond reasonable limits can be severely detrimental to your physical and mental health. One of the most significant dangers of working to excess is burnout. Burnout is characterised by chronic stress, exhaustion and feelings of cynicism or detachment from work. It can result in decreased productivity, increased absence, and ultimately, diminished job satisfaction.

Working excessively can have a serious impact on your personal wellbeing. Abandoning self-care and sacrificing leisure time in favour of work can lead to heightened levels of stress, anxiety and even depression. Neglecting relationships and hobbies outside of work can lead to feelings of unfulfillment, isolation and loneliness, further exacerbating the negative impact on your mental health.

Moreover, working to excess can create unhealthy behaviours and habits. Employees may feel pressured to work long hours to keep up with their peers, or simply that it is expected of them. On the severe end of the scale, individuals may come to rely on the likes of alcohol, smoking, overeating, or even taking recreational drugs as a ‘coping mechanism’, a crutch to rely on to get them through the day.

This unhealthy workstyle is a lose lose situation for both employee and employer. Both find themselves in a toxic work environment where work-life balance is disregarded. In the long run such an environment can lead to high staff turnover rates, decreased morale and diminished company performance.

While dedication and hard work are essential in a business environment, working to excess poses significant dangers to both individuals and organisations. From burnout and diminished mental health to strained relationships and decreased productivity, the consequences of overworking are far reaching. Unfortunately, the tragic death of legal partner Vanessa Ford is just one example of stress and the impact on work/life balance.

More than ever, it is imperative for businesses to prioritise employee wellbeing, promote a healthy work-life balance, and cultivate a supportive work culture that values rest, rejuvenation and personal fulfilment alongside professional success. No business is perfect, however, without our teams we have no business – we must all do better and watch for those tell-tale signs that someone is starting to burn.

If you want to see more from Martyn Fiddler, please follow us on linkedin: Martyn Fiddler

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