Work Overload and Its Consequences

December 30, 2019
If you limit the time you dedicate to your job and take care of your needs, it'll eventually impair your quality of life. Thus, it's important to be aware of the effects of work overload to try to prevent them.

Work overload is common these days as many people devote a lot of their time to it. They do so to such a degree that they could possibly work all day every day. People leave home very early for work and return very late, meaning they spend most of their days in the workplace.

How can excess work negatively impact your life in this regard? If you dedicate a lot of your time to your job, you won’t be able to dedicate time to other areas of your life.

Thus, obviously, work overload means having less time for your personal needs and interactions with your family and friends. These are just some of the possible negative effects of working too much.

Work overload decreases your quality of life

Ana Alcayaga, director of Engineering in Risk Prevention and Environment of the USS, says that work overload is a risk that decreases quality of life and productivity.

This statement is supported by the latest figures provided by the Spanish Work Safety and Health National System (Sistema Nacional de Información de Seguridad y Salud en el Trabajo (SISESAT)). Likewise, this study highlights the physical and psychological risks derived from long and excessive working hours.

In short, work overload poses many health risks and reduces your quality of life. This is because dedicating most of your time to working threatens your physical and psychological well-being, even if you really like what you do. In fact, productivity decreases as the hours go by. Thus, when you dedicate a lot of time to working, your mind becomes saturated and you accomplish less.

Work overload and anxiety

A strenuous workday is a risk factor for anxiety. In other words, the stress derived from work overload leads to the excessive segregation of certain hormones, such as cortisol (known as the stress hormone). This hormone prepares you for facing certain situations. Therefore, it isn’t harmful in small doses.

However, when you segregate excess cortisol due to constant stress and worry, the result of an overload that’s maintained over time could cause a distressing feeling of discomfort. It would manifest as a feeling of chest pressure, stomach pain, and tachycardia.


It isn’t uncommon for those who work excessively to start having difficulty sleeping, which sometimes becomes chronic insomnia. Your workload is so great that your mind is unable to disconnect at bedtime. This doesn’t allow you to rest, meaning the following day will be even more exhausting, both mentally and physically.

Deterioration of social relationships

A work overload also keeps you away from your loved ones. Perhaps you hardly see your spouse, friends, brothers, children, and parents. In a way, you become the loved one who’s always absent and others no longer expect anything but money from you.

Work overload and burnout syndrome

Burnout syndrome is now officially recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO). This organization considers it a disorder that affects people at an emotional and psychological level. In addition, it affects many workers because they live in a continuous state of stress and anxiety.

Note that more and more professionals from various labor sectors have this syndrome. According to data obtained in a recent study, a high percentage of doctors claim to suffer from burnout. In fact, there’s a high percentage of burnout people in the medical field. Also, the number of people in many other professions who have this problem increases every day.

To conclude, keep in mind that you must limit the time you dedicate to your work. Otherwise, your quality of life will decline. Thus, it’s important to raise awareness about the effects of work overload and try to prevent it. It’s also important to be aware that mental and physical well-being is important for everyone.