How People Can Stay Productive When Working Long Hours

Productivity can be explained as the measurement of comparing inputs and outputs. As employees and business owners, we want to be productive as possible once we punch in and we are on the clock. At times we may find it hard to be productive when working long hours. In this blog we will share what we have found to be helpful when helping us to be more productive.

Know your limits to stay focused

If you are passionate about your job or you have short deadlines to meet then it is easy to go beyond your limits and feel overwhelmed. Once you go beyond your limits, you will probably start to feel elevated levels of stress and anxiety. Stress can cause you to be less productive and and not be able to focus properly to get your job done accurately. Stress can also weaken your immune system which can make you more vulnerable to illnesses. In return, this can cause you to have a higher absenteeism record.

An individual can start to become disengaged and less productive if he or she does not know their limits. According to a workplace stress study, 22,347 employees across 12 countries including the UK and US, revealed that over half of those employees claiming to be experiencing increased stress levels reported they were disengaged. This same study showed highly stressed employees averaged 4.6 sick days per year compared to lower stressed employees taking 2.6 sick days per year. Nearly double the amount of sick days off were taken by those who are experiencing higher stress levels. Does this also mean double the amount of losted production?  

What causes stress at work

Many employees may experience different amounts of stress due to a variety of factors. Stress at work can even be taken home with a worker after they have punched the time clock to go home for the day. Although everyone is different and stress affects each individual differently, we will list some common factors that play a role in reduced productivity.

Extreme workloads can cause an employee to find themselves worried and overwhelmed to get all of their work finished on time. An employee may feel anxious even before they clock in to start the day because they know how much work needs to be completed which could make them feel under pressure. Further effects can cause an increase in mistakes, overlooked assignments and poor quality control and mental breakdowns. In addition, a reported 62 percent increase in accident rates at a petrochemical company happened from increased workloads. Now it is starting to become a safety issue for some businesses.

Micromanaging is a habit that far too many employers practice in the workplace. An employer should have complete trust in their employees to accomplish their jobs accurately, efficiently and honestly. This can date back to the day the person was hired to take on the responsibilities that are needed to get the job done. It has been proven that micromanaging can decrease productivity and harm a company. Many employees can come to resent their employer when they feel micromanaged.

Lack of communication is enough to crimple any small business. When communication is not practiced properly within a company’s policy, chances of a company losing money to lost production increases significantly. For example, a manager can schedule an employee to work a specific time, but if the manager does not inform the employee then the lack of communication could cause productivity loss.

Bad management ethics can cause bad morale throughout an entire company. If someone is being unfairly mistreated then employees can experience higher amounts of stress. You spend approximately a third of your day at work so why should it be stressful?

Poor working environments can have terrible effects on a worker’s physical and mental health. More companies are starting to transform into the modern ways of ergonomics. Improvements in not just production outputs, but happiness as well is another aspect that can improve in a workplace that practices good ergonomics. A poor working environment can also decrease one’s physical health. Back, neck, hands, feet and shoulder issues are just a few physical health problems that can become an issue as time goes on.

Resort to an article that will list 10 signs of stress if you are unsure where you stand when it comes to stress while being on the clock.

What you should do to stay productive while working long hours

As mentioned previously in this article you can see how many things can have an impact on our daily work production. It is now the employee’s time to clock in and start enjoying their job while pleasing their employers. We will go over some ideas on how you can improve your daily production while being happier.

One approach to knowing your limits is to set a timer to give yourself a specified amount of time to devote to a project before taking a small break. It is easy to lose track of time when you are working and next thing you know, you are burnt out and not being as productive. This is when panic can set in because you are now worried that your project or assignment will not be finished on time. Take a quick walk to clear your mind when your timer goes off. This can give you a mini break and allow your brain to focus once you go back to work.

Don’t forget to breathe while at work. Proper breathing can reduce stress and increase your mental focus. In return, you will be able to increase productivity while remaining calm and happier. 3 simple breathing exercises can really help improve your health and work life. You will be able to keep calm and energized at the same time. Meditation is also a great way to learn breathing techniques that will improve your mental and physical status.

If you are staring at a computer all day then chances are your eyes and head may hurt. By closing your eyes for a minute or two while properly breathing can help your eyes take a rest and reduce strain. Many headaches can be stemmed from eye straining while looking at a computer for long periods of time.

Try to take a power nap on your lunch break. Power naps are known to give a person energy while clearing their mind. The rejuvenating feeling that a 10 or 15 minute power nap can have will help your productivity when you are working long hours.

Don’t forget to eat and drink water since it is essential to good health and a necessity to life in general. Since food can naturally increase the “feel good hormones” call endorphins, and reduce the bad hormone called cortisol, it is very important to make sure you are eating properly throughout your long work schedule. It can help increase your energy, give you a break from work and improve your overall health assuming your diet is healthy.

Conclusion to staying productive

Although every person is different and there are far more additional ways to increase production while working long hours, we feel these tips are easy, quick and truly help. It is also important to note that everyone’s individual job is different, so some may be able to do more or less than others. We encourage you to find what works best for you so you can decrease stress levels, improve happiness and increase your work production without the worry.

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