Since we exist in a culture of overwork, it can sometimes be difficult for individual members of the workforce to realize when they’re being exploited. After all, if every job you’ve ever held has required you to work yourself to the bone, there’s a good chance you’ve come to regard perpetual professional overload as the norm. Needless to say, this is far from a good thing. So, if you suspect you may be a victim of chronic overwork, look for the following signs.
You Never Truly Clock Out
For many people, departing the office doesn’t mark the end of the workday – just a simple location change. Upon arriving home after a long day at work, many members of the workforce don’t relax and engage in their favorite leisure activities; they simply resume working. Remaining on call, answering emails and touching up work documents well into the night is commonplace for a significant percentage of workers. Not only does this constitute unpaid overtime and blatant worker exploitation, it can also prove extremely detrimental to people’s mental health and personal lives. After all, if you’re always at work, when are you supposed to focus on personal fulfillment?
If this describes your work situation, you’d do well to get on top of it. Many employers will use the excuse that they don’t technically expect workers to continue plugging away after-hours, but if the workloads you receive are so massive that after-hours work is the only way you can meet deadlines, something needs to change.
Personal Relationships Are Strained
When work completely overtakes one’s life, strained personal relationships are likely to follow. If work is your foremost – or only – priority, it’s only natural that you’d have very little, if any, time to dedicate to friends, family members and other close relations. Needless to say, this often leads to loss of communication, falling outs, break-ups and divorces.
While work is undeniably an important part of life, it shouldn’t take precedence over close relationships – and any job that would demand this of you is one that you’d be better off without. So, if you’ve regularly found yourself having to cancel personal plans or place the needs of close relations on the backburner as a result of work, you should speak to your bosses about amending your work schedule or seek alternative employment.
You Have No Time for Yourself
In such an incessantly stressful world, self-care is more important than ever. This is where overwork can truly be a double-edged sword. Not only does working too much create more stress, it ensures that you have no time to effectively treat this stress. If every waking minute is dedicated to your job, when are you supposed to engage in self-care?
Your Physical Health Has Suffered
In addition to placing your mental health in jeopardy, overwork can also take a toll on your physical well-being. Consistent exhaustion, stress headaches and even cardiovascular issues can stem from rampant overwork. So, if you won’t rethink your work schedule for the sake of your psychological health, consider the damage you could be doing to yourself physically.
A Mental Health Professional Confirms Your Suspicions
Therapy can prove extremely beneficial to your mental health in a variety of ways. For one thing, regular therapy can provide you with an effective assortment of coping mechanisms and help you set healthy boundaries – both of which are liable to serve you well at work. Additionally, people with relentlessly busy schedules should consider making time for online therapy.
If your therapist – or any other mental health professional, for that matter – believes that you’re being overworked, you’d be wise to heed this advice and take measures to amend your work schedule. In all likelihood, they’ll be able to provide you with practical advice on how to do so.
Having your entire existence defined by work is far from ideal. Perpetual overwork can have ill effects on both your physical health and psychological well-being. Furthermore, it can cause damage to your personal life and lead to strained relationships. Unfortunately, many employers constantly seek to squeeze as much energy out of employees as possible without giving any thought on how this stands to impact them. Since workers in the U.S. have come to accept such conditions as normal, it can sometimes be difficult to recognize overwork as it occurs. Anyone who suspects they’re being overworked should consider the signs discussed above.
Photo is from Pexels
Guest Author Bio
Hello, my name is Richard Clayton. I am the owner of a small gardening shop in Dallas, Texas. I love gardening and I spend all of my free time taking care of my garden and love discussing my gardening experiences with my friends, who share the same hobby as me.