Before working overtime

Most company policies state that overtime is paid at one and a half of an employees hourly net pay. 

Most company policies state that overtime is paid at one and a half of an employees hourly net pay. 
 
This looks and sounds like a very good deal and quickly, you can visualize offsetting some of those nagging bills you have always procrastinated paying or finally getting to buy that item you have always wished for. 

However, before you make working extra hours a part of your everyday work life, there are a few truths you may want to be aware of and a few life choices you may wish to consider.

Firstly, overtime being paid at one and a half of your hourly net pay is not entirely true. Our good old taxman does put his hand in there. What is more, this tax is usually higher than that of your normal wage.

For that reason, by working overtime, you could be making great personal sacrifices in exchange of minor monetary rewards. 

Secondly, you may want to consider vital aspects of your life such as your physical health. 

According to Sarah Deveau, a career adviser, regularly working overtime reduces the amount of hours one has for himself. It reduces the time they would have done some workout, prepared and eaten healthy meals or gotten enough sleep. 

“It’s often easier to grab fast-food on the way home, eat in front of the television and go to sleep late because it takes longer to wind down from the workday,” she notes.

She continues to say that ones mental health gets affected as with the fewer sleeping hours, one may feel frustrated, overworked and unappreciated. 

I believe this is true as I have a friend who some years back had a job that required him to work overtime, sometimes against his will. He would often have to work throughout the night and he would tell me that he frequently experienced hallucinations and when he woke up he would always feel numb in his brain.

He always dreamed of leaving that job which he finally did.  

Another aspect you should consider is how important your social life and relationships are to you. 

According to Victor Uwamahoro, a 27 year old graphics designer with a local printing firm, working overtime and one’s social life is usually what one is being asked to choose between. 

“I always prefer to invest in relationships as those are what you remain with when all is said and done, not the job,” he says.

He however admits that from time to time he does work overtime when there is urgent need and it is communicated well before time.

Poor work structures are another problem that bring about the need for extra work hours.

It may be a problem of a lack of delegation of duties on your part or the company being understaffed which would thus need immediate management attention. Probably, it would also be that you just use your time poorly and you need help in blocking your hours and tasks in order to keep a track of your daily performance.

Lastly you may be one of those who think working overtime is showing commitment to the company. On the contrary, you may be establishing a pattern in which overtime will always be expected of you and so the question would be whether you are willing to make this a long term commitment.

So, the next time you work overtime do consider these things before they take a toll on you and then what is supposed to benefit the company and yourself ends up being too costly. 

 J_kiregu@yahoo.com

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