Work overload: what consequences?

Work overload: what consequences?

If we do not set limits on the time we allocate to work and we do not pay attention to the conditions in which we work, in the long term we can compromise the quality of our life. It is therefore important to know the effects of work overload and try to prevent them.

Work overload: what consequences?

Last update: January 19, 2020

Work overload is an increasingly present condition in our lives. Spending much of our time working has become a routine for many of us. This trend is so common that we extend our working day more and more. We get up very early in the morning and come home late in the evening. Basically, we spend most of the day in the workplace.

Can overworking negatively impact our life? We tend to think that if we dedicate many hours to work, we will most likely not be able to allocate time to other aspects of our life. And that's right.

Work overload can lead us to spend less time on our personal life, family, friends, etc. In this article we will tell you about the possible negative effects of work overload.

Overworking reduces the quality of our life

Several studies warn us about the physical and psychological risks of long working days. It seems that the overload of work considerably reduces the quality of life of workers and decreases their productivity.

Spending most of the hours we have during the week to work compromises our physical and psychological well-being, even if we really like what we do. Plus, productivity declines as the hours go by. If you spend a lot of time at work, your mind becomes saturated and your performance is reduced.

"Well-being and health are a must, otherwise we could not keep our minds strong and clear."


Effects of work overload


An exhausting day at work is a risk factor that can cause anxiety. Stress, resulting from work overload, causes the excessive secretion of certain hormones such as cortisol (known as the stress hormone). In small doses, it is not harmful because it prepares us to face certain situations.

However, an excess of cortisol - due to the constant stress and worry caused by an overload of work maintained over time - could cause us an annoying feeling of discomfort. On a physical level it could manifest itself as a feeling of pressure in the chest, stomach pain or rapid heartbeat.


It is not uncommon for those who work too hard to start having difficulty sleeping. Sometimes these difficulties become chronic insomnia. This is because the workload is such that the mind is unable to disconnect when it is time to sleep, bringing problems and worries with it. In these cases, sleep is not restorative and the next day you feel even more tired, both mentally and physically.

Deterioration of social relations

Work overload makes us spend less time with friends and family. Furthermore, we see little of our partner, children or our parents. In a way, we become the eternally absent and others no longer expect our presence.

"We are surrounded by objects designed to reduce workload and yet have little free time for us."

-Laurence J. Peter-

The burnout syndrome

Burnout syndrome was recently recognized as an occupational disease by the World Health Organization (WHO). It is considered a disorder that affects on an emotional and psychological level that part of workers who live in a continuous state of stress and anxiety.

An increasing number of professionals from various work sectors suffer from this syndrome. According to a study conducted in twelve countries by the European General Practice Research Network, Italian doctors have levels of stress twice the European average. Undoubtedly that of doctors is a profession in which there is a high percentage of people affected by the burnout syndrome. However, it is not the only one. Today the number of professionals suffering from this syndrome is constantly increasing.

To conclude, we remind you that if you do not limit the time allocated to work and the conditions in which you work are not improved, in the long term there is the possibility of compromising the quality of one's life. It is therefore important to be aware of the effects of work overload and to try to prevent them. Furthermore, it is good to know that taking care of your mental and physical health is of fundamental importance for the well-being of all of us.

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