If your hours at work are starting to stack up, you’re probably wondering if what you’re working is normal. And maybe questioning how far to push yourself. Everyone’s circumstances are different. So you shouldn’t use other people as a benchmark to set the standard for yourself. Otherwise you can end up feeling miserable at work. If you’re experiencing burnout, chances are you’re working too hard!
50 hours of work a week is a lot by UK standards. UK regulations prohibit workings from exceeding an average of 48 hours per week (averaged over 17 weeks). This means that some weeks you may work 50 hours, but this is okay so long as your average over the 17 weeks is below 48 hours.
What are the average working hours per week in the UK?
Most full-time employees in the UK work between 35 to 40 hours per week. But, some companies may have longer working hours, increasing the working hours per week. UK working time regulations prevent workers from exceeding an average of 48 hours per week. But you can opt out of this if you want to work more hours per week.
5 tell-tale signs of burnout
If you’re working a lot of hours during the week, it’s important to make sure you’re not compromising your health. Here are 5 signs that could indicate you’re working too hard:
If your energy levels are low and you just pass out once you get in from work, you’re probably overdoing it! You should still have enough energy to enjoy your free time instead of gasping for your bed.
2. Stress and anxiety
Anxiety and stress are key indicators that your work may be taking a toll on you. If you’re working as many hours as possible, reducing your hours may help reduce some of your stress.
3. Skipping lunch
Skipping your lunches is a sign of overworking. Your breaks are there for a reason. Working without a break will be detrimental to your health.
4. Staying late
If you’re staying past your finish time to complete, chances are you’re bordering on burnout. Staying late once in a while is fine. But if this is a regular part of your working routine, you may need to reassess your hours to find a better work-life balance.
5. Sleep deprivation
Sleep deprivation is a tell-tale sign of burnout. Sometimes we take on so much during the day, that it’s not possible to sleep properly throughout the night. This isn’t healthy, and should serve as a sign that you need to rejig your workload or hours.
How to create more work-life balance
It may reach a point where you need to take some serious action to rebalance your work and personal life. Here are a few tips to implement:
- Exercise – doing exercise regularly is a great way to release endorphins and release stress. It also gives you something else to focus on other than work. Often, due to the intensity of exercising, you’ll completely forget about your work life during your workout. Exercise gives your mind a break.
- Take your breaks – we’re all guilty of skipping a break here and there, but this can’t be a regular habit. Your body needs a break so it can recalibrate and perform even better when you get back to work.
- Ask for help – there’s no shame in asking for help. If you’re drowning in work or struggling to cope with your hours, speak to your manager to see what can be done to help.
- Reduce your hours – you always have the option of reducing your hours if necessary. You can learn more about the rights of part-time employees to see if it would suit you.
Keeping a healthy work-life balance should be a priority for any employee. It’s okay to take on some extra hours here and there. But too much work can result in burnout, leaving your energy levels depleted. If you’re feeling burnt out, it may be time to speak with your manager or find a job with a better work-life balance.
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