You increase the risk of depression the more you do this one thing at work

Is it just you and the office cleaners again? Amerisleep polled 1,188 workers, 90% of which have stayed late at work by at least 15 minutes, and 75% say they’ve had a job that’s asked too much of them.

Working late is common and often necessary; 66% of employees polled work late “sometimes” or “often.”


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People tolerate it – to an extent. Respondents consider one day a week working late and 29 minutes overtime “acceptable.”

Too much more may bum you out. The results of a study published in PLoS ONE in 2012 suggest that people who regularly work more than 11-hour days had over twice the chances of developing major depression, compared to employees who worked about eight hours a day.

A full 82% of respondents were asked, or pressured, by a manager to work late. Of those who felt “pressure,” to work late, 69% felt that their job was at risk if they didn’t do it.

Work smarter, not longer?

You may not even perform your best working late. According to a study, it’s easier to get stressed in the evening, because your body releases less cortisol – the body’s stress hormone – in the evening, as opposed to the morning.

The culture of working overtime slides into home life. Respondents said working late caused them to break promises to their spouse (56%), friend (55%), or child (48%). Because of working late:

  • 66% spent less time spent with family
  • 61% spent less time spent with spouse
  • 53% spent less leisure time at home

Researchers at Cornell University found that 10% of employees working more than 50 hours a week had serious issues at home. That percentage rose to 30% when they worked more than 60 hours.

Working late had a negative effect on the emotional well-being of 57% of workers, and the physical well-being of 54% of them.

A well-known study following over 10,000 civil servants in London found that overtime work is bad for the heart – people who worked three or more hours longer than a seven-hour day had a 60% higher risk of heart-related problems such as “death due to heart disease, non-fatal heart attacks, and angina.”

Of course, you don’t even want to know what terrible overtime-related malady they have in Japan: karoshi, or death from overwork.


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