Australians are globally known as fun people who know the value of a hard day's graft. However, there is a point when working long and hard is detrimental to productivity.
According to statistics released in the 2015 Hays Salary Guide, 28 per cent of organisations polled increased overtime hours. Based on the findings, 33 per cent had topped overtime by five or less hours a week, 34 per cent between five and 10 hours per week and 11 per cent by more than 10 hours a week.
There are many reasons why employees undertake overtime. These include catching up on work that should have been done during office hours but couldn't be completed due to employees having too much on their plate.
Nick Deligiannis, managing director of Hays in Australia and New Zealand, explained that often the problem with the concept of overtime is that employees aren't paid for their efforts.
"Many Australians work more hours than they are paid for," he said in a media statement on June 29.
"Professionals in highly-skilled roles, often on a salary, and often in professional services, tend to undertake a lot of this overtime."
In fact, Hays reported that just 38 per cent were paid for overtime.
Managing overtime in the workplace
Overworked and stressed employees rarely perform at their best so managing overtime is important for businesses.
"If not managed carefully, overtime has the potential to cause employee stress and burnout."
This fact is even more important given that 68 per cent of employees believe business activity will increase over the coming years - adding more pressure and work to employees.
"If not managed carefully, overtime has the potential to cause employee stress and burnout," he explained.
"In many of the organisations that increased overtime, there could be a very good business case for adding additional headcount - either permanent or temporary - to get through peak periods and relieve pressure on existing staff."
Value of technology
Apart from recruitment, technology can play a critical role in helping employees avoid overtime and become more productive during their contracted hours.
Take teleconferencing for example. Instead of employees taking time out of their day to travel to business meetings and conferences, the entire process can be completed over the phone. This reduces business costs and allows your team to manage their time better.
For more information on how to get started with teleconferencing, contact our expert team today.