There are limits to how hard you can work, as your body and mind need periods of rest to recover. Due to the poor wages that many jobs pay, you may need to grab overtime when your employer offers it. While it can help financially, it can come with significant short and long-term consequences.
You are more likely to make mistakes when tired than if you have got a good night’s sleep. If your company does not offer overtime, you might have a second job elsewhere, and so might your colleagues. When your or the people you work with are tired due to overwork and inadequate rest, it increases the risk of a workplace accident.
Regular hours are safer for workers
Humans evolved in a time when once it got dark, going out was dangerous. During the day, they carried out their “work,” the essential activities such as food gathering. When it got dark, they slept. Our bodies are still built to that routine, yet our lives are not.
Humans evolved over 200,000 years ago, yet shiftwork has only been around for 200. While people might adapt eventually, it will be long after our lifetimes. Until then, working outside of regular hours will always be risky. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA):
- Working nights make injuries 30% more likely
- Working 12 hours or more makes injuries 37% more likely
Workplace injuries can be costly. If you are working overtime because you need more money, medical bills and time off to recover will not help your bank account. Therefore, you need to ensure you get the full amount of compensation possible from your employer’s workers’ compensation policy.