Debunking the Overtime Myth
Throughout my corporate life experience, I have found myself staying late in the office often. I have started assuming that I am working hard for the organization. But one day, a senior vice president noticed my regular late hours and said, “Why are you staying late so often? This means that you are not prioritizing and managing your work effectively.” And that was a hard hit. At that time, for me, I could not see myself as a problem. But now I can figure it out that it was because of me, I couldn’t balance my priorities with the number of hours I had to work.
Overtime comes at a high price for organizations. Sometimes we feel as if it is the only option. Here, I am sharing a few easy ways of how employers can help their employees to reduce overtime and start working smartly.
1. Offer overtime as the exception, not the rule:
If you treat overtime like any other working hours or just a part of doing business, your employees will do the same. I believe overtime should be treated as the last option, not the first one. Changing overtime culture might be difficult for those who are used to working late and receiving overtime pay. Working for long hours can make your employees feel exhausted mentally, and their productivity goes down. Working in such conditions makes them inefficient in their work and may cause anxiety and stress.
2. Importance of cross-training of employees:
Have you ever noticed that a single point of failure can bring the entire working system to a halt if it stops working? With my experience, I have observed that if a few members are experienced or skilled in teams, they’ll be likely the ones picking up all the slacks. Imagine what will happen if those employees call out sick or quit the job? What if they take off for vacations? In such cases, managers should divide the whole team’s responsibilities, which is the perfect way to reduce overtime. Instead of depending on the single skilled employee, train your team to step in and pick up the load.
3. Introduce creative ways to increase your work productivity:
What can an employer do to boost their organization’s productivity? I am sure such questions often strike in your mind. Here are some suggestions:
A. Allow a nap time:
When continuously working for long hours, your mind and body need a nap time to relax. Napping is one of the most effective breaks as it will boost your energy level and help to refocus your brain.
B. Change your working place:
When you feel that your focus is declining, get up and change your place, talk to your colleagues, or do anything which can help you to refresh. This way, you can boost your creativity and help your brain to refocus.
4. Provide the right equipment and resources to your team:
With the digital transformation, automation empowers organizations to work efficiently and helps them make better decisions faster. Automation helps in setting the goals and completion of projects within the timelines. It is helpful for HR professionals because they spend their significant time in recruiting candidates. Doing such work manually is a tiresome task. Through automation, they can bring AI tools like resume parser that can parse the resumes in a scalable manner. It helps in extracting data from resumes/jobs and saves it in pre-designed fields such as education, skills, experience, etc. This will take off all the burden of HR professionals and make them efficient and productive. Using such tools can reduce human error and data loss as well.
5. Provide flexible work schedules for your team:
Do you believe that the best working hours happen from 9 am-6 pm? I don’t believe so, providing flexible working hours plays an essential role in boosting employees’ productivity. Nowadays, with the help of cloud-based tools, it looks easier to provide employees with flexible working hours. They can log in from anywhere to access work information. Trust this will bring more productivity, and employees can use their time more effectively. This will also reduce the chance of overtime, and they can complete their work as scheduled.
Technology and management studies are changing the working conditions of every industry. With the advanced technology and the right tools in place, employees can work more efficiently.