The Importance of Respecting Work Hours

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We’re used to hearing the expression 9 to 5 and we all understand what it means: we start working at a certain time of the day and we leave for home exactly eight hours later. That’s how it is with most jobs, but as the pace of the market keeps speeding up, it becomes more and more demanding for employees who are sometimes expected to put in a few additional hours to finish the varied projects at hand in a shorter span of time, which sometimes is not enough. The pressure of putting that extra effort can actually make some employees feel guilty when they leave work at their designated time, even if they have finished all their duties for the day!

Overtime does not mean burnout

Staying a little longer to give the final touches to an urgent project is not a sin or strange to see. However, making a habit out of it and losing track of the time spent at the office is a red flag for both managers and employees.
Work schedules exist for more than one reason. The proper functionality, productivity and health of your work environment depend on these working hours more than you think. A strong team can go to waste if it is not guided and managed properly, and this includes keeping track of the time your employees spend behind their working stations.

A few days doing overtime before a crucial deadline are not to worry, but if one of your workers is excessively tired and lacking energy or motivation to work, it’s time for you to step in because this employee might be experiencing burnout. Occupational burnout involves physical or emotional exhaustion induced by work-related stress that fills workers with a sense of reduced accomplishment and loss of personal identity.

This behavior can have a negative effect not only on your worker’sperformance levels, but also on their physical and mental health. It may seem that a few extra hours of work a week aren’t that bad, but they do add up.

Respect working hours and guide your team

“I busted my back working 9 to 5, but I’ll stay 30 more minutes so that my boss won’t think I’m desperate to leave” This is an uncomfortable situation in which new employees may find themselves, but one on which managers need to keep a close watch. Let your workers know that it is okay to go home when the time comes, and if you need someone to stay after hours, it’s okay to ask them from time to time, but avoid making a habit out of it.

The most vulnerable bunch

You should take special care of your single employees. Just because they’re not married, it doesn’t mean that they don’t have anyone to go home to; they still have family, friends, pets, and other things to take care of. Let them know that you understand that their life outside of work is important and encourage them to keep a balance between life and work.

New employees or recently transferred staff are also prone to falling ‘victims’ of working too many hours just to impress their new manager. As cliché as it sounds, remember to be a leader and not just a boss who demands more and more from your employees. You are also responsible for their wellbeing at work, and it is up to you to make sure that you provide a healthy work environment to them.

Why schedules exist and include time off

Most jobs are stressful enough as they are, so don’t let things get out of hand. Be the kind of leader that understands that a worker’s personal time is just as important as those hours spent at the office. Having time off is necessary to rest, feel invigorated and come up with fresh ideas and solutions to the issues we face at work.

Punctuality is not only important when it comes to getting to work, but also leaving it to go home. Respecting work hours is of great advantage to the employer too, because it allows you to manage your team better and achieve greater results. A well-rested employee is able to perform at its fullest, boosting the company’s productivity and sharing a sense of motivation and realization with the rest of the team.

Edu Rojas
Content Marketing Editor at Neuvoo

Grace Cattini
Content Editor & Copywriter