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Working beyond office hours could make you sick

25 Jun, 2019
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At 6.02pm, as I was waiting for a Thane slow on a regular Thursday evening, I was busy checking and rechecking my notebook to know if I have missed anything on my to-do list at work that day. I felt an unbelievable sense of anxiety mixed with bouts of happiness. I was unusually early for my regular time to leave work. As I looked at people wait for slow trains to arrive so they can go home comfortably, I seemed intrigued. Why is it that I always rush to get into whichever train possible so I can go home early? It wasn’t making sense.

Perhaps this day, I decided to take the slow to Thane. As the train arrived, I sat inside fixing my eyes on the ladies sitting opposite to me. Everyone seemed weary and tired, but not missing an opportunity to talk about general things. That’s when I learnt the sense of balancing between personal and professional lives. Does this happen to you?

You want to reach the office at 9 am sharp and wish to finish as much as you can that day. But as the clock strikes 5.30, you feel this sudden burnout wherein you want to leave but you can’t. Why are we so guilty about leaving office on time? What is this work culture that we have acquired that makes us believe that the one person sitting in office till late is the one working hard, while the one who comes early and leaves ‘on-time’ is just being selfish?

Burnout is a definitive and compelling term in our workplaces today. World Health Organization (WHO) has recognized burnout as a mental health condition now, which goes further to imply that this ‘always on-job’ culture is harming us more than ever today. WHO describes burnout as, “a syndrome conceptualised as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.

Fixed working hours…Really?

There are very few days in a week that we might leave our offices on time. It is mostly that one day when you higher-ups aren’t at work or the days when you have nothing much to do. But don’t you reach on time almost daily? (Oh yes, that HR is constantly giving you looks for entering 5 minutes late!)

No, we aren’t saying that you mustn’t be on time. But we are just emphasizing that a human body isn’t a machine and you can’t actually ‘produce’ work, you ought to perform tasks. The fixed hours at work exists for a certain reason and definitely when you have to work a bit extra (I believe over-time is a concept of the bygones), you do it. But don’t make this a habit.

And definitely, when you leave on time from your office on a weekday, please don’t turn on the super-guilty button and leave the workplace like you’ve committed a crime. And definitely, please do not even consider those colleagues who sit in office till 9 pm instead of 6 pm and crib about how they run the whole organization!

No-GUILT indulgence only, please!

According to a study published in the Administrative Science Quarterly in May 2019 revealed that blurring limits of extended work are putting immense stress on the mental health of Indians. That also means that if you are an employer and feel good seeing your employees slog at work, the productivity is going to come down.

Unless you have a healthy work culture, you ain’t having a healthy working environment for the organization that will help your company flourish!

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