According to the CIPD, “Nearly 1.4 million people in the UK regularly work more than 60 hours a week”. Whatever the reason for the overtime, there are risks of overtime to a business that can cause long-term damage for both employers and employees.
The Risks of Overtime to a Business
Stress related illness and burn-out is on the rise and causes great damage businesses and their employees. If an employee takes time off for illness, a company needs to pay sick pay as well as pay another worker to cover their role. Sometimes agency staff may need to be used if urgent cover is needed and existing staff cannot cover the work.
The use of overtime is financially very costly for businesses across the UK. According to the CIPD, fatigue related accidents caused by overtime costs the UK between £100 million and £200 million every year in the workplace.
How to Stop The Dependency On Overtime
Give Them Permission
Often employees feel they need to put in the hours to get noticed for a promotion or to fit into the company culture of working long hours. If you simply state to them that they should go home and not work overtime it gives them the permission to do so.
Workers will often then reward your kindness and recognition in their work-life balance by being more punctual, not taking a long lunch and being more productive during their standard working hours.
Don’t Reward Overtime
Many companies incentivise overtime with financial rewards which fuels the culture of long working hours when instead they should foster a culture of work-life balance and explain to your employees the benefits.
Alternative incentives can be introduced to encourage employees to get their work done within their standard working hours. Non-financial incentives can include training, career progression and extra time off. For example, if workers finish a project ahead of time, they get to go home early.
Introduce Flexible Working
Flexible working practice has grown in popularity with many more companies taking up this working structure in recent years. Flexible working hours benefit both employers and employees. Employers pay for less overtime and minimise the risk of employees taking time off for stress and burnout. Employees benefit as being able to work flexibly is a lot more convenient and fits around other aspects of their lives.
Did you like this article on the risks of overtime to a business? Read about how employees not taking their full holiday allowance can be also have risks for a business.
We have lots of articles with advice for employers on our blog.