The Effects & Symptoms Of Overwork On Employee Health

4 min read
Published on 07 November, 2020

In today's corporate space, every employer wants their workers to go the "extra mile." It means going above and beyond the usual workload to achieve greater results. This overwork culture is mainly due to the extremely competitive market, which requires businesses to work 24x7.

While you may think that this work culture is typical in the current day and age, but it isn't. The overwork culture, as such, is more harmful than fruitful. It affects workers' physical and mental health, leading to absenteeism and a drop in productivity.

This is just the tip of the iceberg in this case. Overwork has many adverse effects on employees. Here are a few of these adverse effects showing that you should stop overworking your workers immediately.

The Effects Of Overwork On Employee Health

1. Bad for the heart

Working at a stretch for long hours increases the blood pressure of individuals. Consistent work behavior, as such, can lead to heart diseases in the future. It can lead to cardiac arrest, heart attacks, angina, etc.

Constant work also limits any physical exercise, which adds to more heart problems as well. In this regard, the risk of heart diseases is even more for people working overtime.

Related Article: 42 Office Exercises You Can Do At Your Desk To Stay Fit

2. Sleep Deprivation

Being at work, non-stop can also lead to sleep deprivation. It is mainly because of workplace stress and constant staring at the PC screen. An irregular sleep schedule, being a result of this, can affect the workers' mental health to a vast extent.

Sleep deprivation has adverse effects on the hippocampus. Hippocampus is the area of the brain for memory creation and consolidation. As such, an impact on the brain can make it hard to remember information and function well in the workplace.

3. Type 2 Diabetes

Diabetes is one of the most common forms of illness in many adults today. It is why diabetes is also one of the ordinary office workers’ health problems. In this regard, overworking the workers with type-2 diabetes is very dangerous.

With constant work, the kidneys also go in overtime to remove excess glucose from the blood. This overtime often results in exhaustion of the kidneys, which negatively affects workers with type-2 diabetes.

In recent years, doctors believe that overworking can also give rise to diabetes. It is because extra weight, inactive lifestyle can trigger diabetes, and with constant work, these two conditions are pretty standard.

4. Burnout

Putting in long hours of work at a stretch can also lead to employee burnout. Burnout is a state of emotional exhaustion which results in helplessness, disillusion, and complete mental shut down.

It can further negatively impact one's personal life and bring about isolation from other people. Burnout can also cause anhedonia, which results in loss of pleasure from one's beloved activities. Effects, as such, harms mental health to a vast extent.

5. Workplace Depression

A study by the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine states that overwork can give rise to depression. It is entirely understandable as overworking has all the signs leading to workplace depression.

The lack of work-life balance, constant stress, over-indulge in work can all give rise to depression. This depression affects mental health, rendering one feeling sad all the time, and being lonely most of the time.

6. Harms Work-life Balance

One of the classic effects of overworking is having a poor work-life balance. Maintaining a healthy balance as such between professional and personal life is very important. It helps with productivity, sanity, fewer mental health problems, etc.

Failure to maintain this balance has workers feeling over-exhaustion, lousy mood, and a lack of motivation to perform best.

7. Prone to more mistakes at work

Working long hours also drains the mind's ability to work well. It results in workers making more mistakes in the workplace, affecting both performance and confidence. It adversely affects your operational efficiency and can do more harm than actual work.

8. Psychiatric Disorders

Recent studies also show that employees who overwork are more likely to develop psychiatric disorders. They are more at risk of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD).

These conditions arise mainly due to constant stress and anxiety with working around the clock. It affects the mental and emotional stability of workers as well.

Related Article: 15 Emotional Wellness Activities To Practice In The Workplace

9. Physical Effects

One of the most evident effects of overwork is a bad posture for workers. While working continuously, workers lose track of their stance subconsciously. It results in neck pain for most women and lower back pain for men at the workplace.

These are just some of the harmful effects of overworking for employees.

Nowadays, businesses are getting so caught up in output; they may unknowingly promote this behavior of overwork. Here, it is crucial to know when your employees are falling prey to overwork. It will help you monitor the situation and give those workers a mental day off.

Here are some of the mental and physical symptoms of workers in overwork to help you ascertain this.

Symptoms of Overwork in Workers

  • Lack of energy to do anything
  • Trouble sleeping
  • A weak immune system
  • Being in a constant bad mood
  • Gaining weight
  • Improper work-life balance
  • Easily irritable, etc
  • Unstable mood and mind
  • Deteriorating health

These were a few of the symptoms of employees suffering from overwork. If you encounter any of these symptoms in your workforce, you must act immediately.

Download our complete and comprehensive guide to corporate wellness programs to create an effective one for your workforce.


As an employer, it is perfectly normal to get the most and best out of your workers. After all, this is what will bring you success as a group. But, you need to be careful that this maximized output doesn't come at the cost of your employee health.

A worker's health is one of the prime obligations for a 21st-century employer. Therefore, you must abide by the best practices and do what is best for your company and its workers.

This article is written by Jyoti Prakash Barman. He is an in-house Content Marketer at Vantage Fit with interests in music and automobiles. For any related queries, contact

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