While I was trying to understand what’s going on with the government – who’s been invited to the ball, who’s been sent home and who’s in charge of the dresses – I stumbled across a BBC article about working long hours.
It quotes research, published online in the European Heart Journal, which shows that people who ‘regularly put in overtime and work 10- or 11-hour days increase their heart disease risk by nearly two-thirds…’
The experts studied 6,000 British civil servants and, after accounting for known heart risk factors such as smoking, they found that those who worked three to four hours of overtime a day ran a 60% higher risk. The experts say this highlights the importance of work-life balance.
I’m not going to delve into the details of the article – I’m more interested in a slightly tricker aspect of the issue: who you agree your working time with.
If you’re in a small business, you might think that it’s one’s employer (or employees) that you should be talking to. But it seems to me that, perhaps the most important people to be consulted are one’s family. We’re in uncertain financial times and I think most people, most families, will want to make sure they’ve got as much money coming in as possible. If you don’t get paid overtime, then, in theory, working longer hours buys you some measure of loyalty from your employer.
So how do you decide to work less? Do you go to to your boss and raise your concerns or do you need to have that conversation with the family?