According to the OECD, Mexico currently tops the charts for longest hours worked whereas the US is around the middle. Germany enjoys the least amount of hours worked per annum. It has been a long upheld belief that the more hours an employee works, the better it is for the business, if not the employees. However, evidence suggests that this is not the case.\r\n\r\nAll work and no play can lead to a series of issues and it\u2019s important for a business to strike the right balance between working enough hours to ensure the work gets done but also making sure their employees have a good quality of life and can maintain or even improve motivation and productivity.\r\n\r\nResearch by the Institute of Employment Studies has shown the negative impact that long working hours can have on a workforce, including:\r\n\r\n \tDecrease in productivity\r\n \tPhysical health problems\r\n \tWork\/life imbalance\r\n \tPoor performance\r\n \tDemotivated employees\r\n \tMental health problems\r\n \tHigh staff turnover rates\r\n \tHigh staff sickness and absence rates\r\n \tUnhappy office culture\r\n \tIncrease in workplace accidents and incidents\r\n \tBack and neck pain, RSI injuries\r\n \tReduced sleep\r\n\r\nOverworked employees are never going to perform to their best standard. As well as being physically exhausted, mental exhaustion can lead to mistakes being made and poor work.\r\n\r\nA poll by NPR news concludes that many people suffer from high stress levels as a result of being overworked or working long hours. Stress is a major factor in negatively impacting a persons health and can lead to:\r\n\r\n \tCardiovascular disease\r\n \tMental health issues\r\n \tMusculoskeletal disorders\r\n \tReduced immune systems\r\n\r\nA business should vigilant and keep a look out for the following signs of stress within the workplace:\r\n\r\n \tFatigue\r\n \tAnxiety\r\n \t Low morale\r\n \tIrritability\r\n \tAlcohol or drug use\r\n \tShort temper\r\n \tHeadaches or migraines\r\n \tAltercations between colleagues\r\n \tPoor concentration\r\n \tReduced or increased appetite\r\n\r\nIf any of these signs are spotted, measures need to be taken to reduce workplace stress. As long working hours are a probable cause of stress, reducing them can go a long way towards improving employee wellness. \r\n\r\nIf a workforce is found to be working longer than average hours, an investigation should take place to discover the reasons why. Bad management or task allocation can mean that certain areas of the business are overloaded or that there simply isn\u2019t enough staff employed to cover the workload.\r\n\r\nDon\u2019t fall into the old way of thinking that longer hours means more work gets done. Try looking at ways to reduce working hours and giving employees a great work\/life balance as this will benefit the business by increasing productivity and staff morale.\r\n\r\nQuality not quantity is the key.