You Increase The Risk Of Depression The More You Do This One Thing At Work

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Is it just you and the office cleaners again? Amerisleep polled 1,188 workers, 90% of which have stayed late at work by at least 15 minutes, and 75% say they’ve had a job that’s asked too much of them.Working late is common and often necessary; 66% of employees polled work late “sometimes” or “often.”

People tolerate it – to an extent. Respondents consider one day a week working late and 29 minutes overtime “acceptable.”

Too much more may bum you out. The results of a study published in PLoS ONE in 2012 suggest that people who regularly work more than 11-hour days had over twice the chances of developing major depression, compared to employees who worked about eight hours a day.

A full 82% of respondents were asked, or pressured, by a manager to work late. Of those who felt “pressure,” to work late, 69% felt that their job was at risk if they didn’t do it.

Work smarter, not longer?

You may not even perform your best working late. According to a study, it’s easier to get stressed in the evening, because your body releases less cortisol – the body’s stress hormone – in the evening, as opposed to the morning.

The culture of working overtime slides into home life. Respondents said working late caused them to break promises to their spouse (56%), friend (55%), or child (48%). Because of working late:

  • 66% spent less time spent with family
  • 61% spent less time spent with spouse
  • 53% spent less leisure time at home

Researchers at Cornell University found that 10% of employees working more than 50 hours a week had serious issues at home. That percentage rose to 30% when they worked more than 60 hours.

Working late had a negative effect on the emotional well-being of 57% of workers, and the physical well-being of 54% of them.

A well-known study following over 10,000 civil servants in London found that overtime work is bad for the heart – people who worked three or more hours longer than a seven-hour day had a 60% higher risk of heart-related problems such as “death due to heart disease, non-fatal heart attacks, and angina.”

Of course, you don’t even want to know what terrible overtime-related malady they have in Japan: karoshi, or death from overwork.

To Feel Happier At Work, Share ‘The Real You’

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The study examines 65 studies focusing on what happens after people in a workplace disclose a stigmatized identity, such as sexual orientation, mental illness, physical disability, or pregnancy.

Eden King, a coauthor of the study and an associate professor of psychology at Rice University, calls the decision to express a stigmatized identity highly complicated.

“It has the potential for both positive and negative consequences,” she says.

The research overwhelmingly indicates, however, that people with non-visible stigmas (such as sexual orientation or health problems) who live openly at work are happier with their overall lives and more productive in the workplace. Self-disclosure is typically a positive experience because it allows people to improve connections, form relationships with others, and free their minds of unwanted thoughts, King says.

Workers who expressed their non-visible stigmas experienced decreased job anxiety, decreased role ambiguity, improved job satisfaction, and increased commitment to their position. Outside of work, these people reported decreased psychological stress and increased satisfaction with their lives.

But the study found that the same results did not apply to people with visible traits, such as race, gender, and physical disability.

“Identities that are immediately observable operate differently than those that are concealable,” King says. “The same kinds of difficult decisions about whether or not to disclose the identity—not to mention the questions of to whom, how, when, and where to disclose those identities—are probably less central to their psychological experiences.”

Because most people appreciate gaining new information about others, the expression of visible stigmas is likely to have less of an impact, King says.

“Also, people react negatively to those who express or call attention to stigmas that are clearly visible to others, such as race or gender, as this may be seen as a form of advocacy or heightened pride in one’s identity,” she says.

The researchers say more work will help understand the motivations for expressing different stigmas. They say they hope the meta-analysis will help workplaces and policymakers protect individuals with stigmas from discrimination.

The study appears in the Journal of Business and Psychology. Additional coauthors are from Rice University; Texas A&M University; the University of Memphis; Xavier University; Portland State University; and the University of California, Berkeley.

Source: Rice University