According to many recent studies and economists as mentioned in such articles like this one by ABC or this one by harvard, Americans are working way too much, and not like in a “These guys are just so committed to quality here its crazy!” More like “These dumb bastards refuse to use their vacation hours.” and apparently its having a very negative effect on quality of work, stress levels and overall employee happiness. So why do we still do it? Well today Im here to give you five crucial reasons why you should tell your boss to shove that OT where the sun doesnt shine! Starting with…
5. You’re Not Making As Much Money As You Think
Now this is one that can come as a surprise for most people, they say to themselves “Yeah Ill slave away for time and half! Thats like A LOT of extra money!” Except not quite…You see the problem is Uncle Sam, and because every extra hour worked is taxed at your highest marginal tax rate, and in some cases may even push you into a higher tax bracket! Lets make this a little simpler with an example: Lets say you make 40,000 annually, so about $20 an hour, and your boss comes up to you and asks you to work this saturday, you think “great! Ill be making like $30 an hour! thats like $240! ” except no…
It would actually be closer to about $144 total for the day, which evens out to about $18 an hour! Why? well because good ole uncle Sam takes 28 percent in federal income tax, a 7.65 percent federal payroll tax and depending on where you live possibly a state income tax! So basically what your boss is saying: “Hey can I have you give us your saturday and social life in return for a little pocket change?”
4. Overtime Is A Result of Bad Managing and Corporate Greed
Lets make this one simple, no company should need their workers to work overtime, because if they do then they have a workforce management problem, any respectable company should be managing themselves in a way to avoid overtime, which means hiring the necessary amount of people needed, when companies end up asking employees for overtime constantly, then they’re basically saying “Hey we dont want to spend money on hiring the correct amount of people so we’re gonna need you to come in and work yourself to death, thanks!”
3. Working Overtime Will Decrease Your Chances of Promotion
Many workers in American companies are being worked to death…Sometimes the companies demand it, other times it is the employee’s choice to waste their lives away, thinking “Well if I work more than required then I’ll show my Bosses how committed I am and get promoted!” Wrong. Over working has been connected with lower quality of work, employees who tend to work more than normal also tend to not be able to commit 100% to high quality work, this in turn lowers profits for the company AND decreases the employees chance of getting promoted, because I mean that’s great your working your life away but who wants to promote less than stellar work quality? Nobody.
2. It’ll Ruin Your Life
Harsh, I know. But I refuse to apologize for it! Because it’s true, Working too much has been tied to all kinds of mental issues, such as depression, irritability and relationship issues. When you work too much you get tired, you dont sleep as much, you dont give yourself time to unwind and restart fresh, you’re constantly in this working mode that wears at you like a rust that’ll eventually break you, you’ll start drinking more, maybe take up smoking, you’ll get in more arguments with your loved ones, you’ll have less time to give those loved ones as well, straining your relationship with them. There is a reason why we have 8 hour work days, and why we get two days off a week, because you NEED time to reset, mentally, which will provide you the necessary mental power to tackle that work at a more precise and higher quality of work.
1.You Only Live Once.
Thats right, I pulled a YOLO, deal with it. You only live once, so why waste it rotting away for a paycheck, leaving behind days of your life that you will never get back? Yeah we all like money, but thats not what truly makes us happy, its hobbies, vacations, exploration and spending time with friends and loved ones, when you’re on your death bed what would you regret the most? That you didnt work more and get a little bit more money to spend on useless junk? Or that you wish you didnt work as much and spent more time pursuing your passions, and spending time with those you loved?
So next time your boss asks you for overtime, remember that dying future you, lying there in your last hours of life, what are your final thoughts? Your final regrets? If you could go back in time to a younger you, what wisdom would you endow in yourself?
featured image: LaurMG.