Overtime can be a necessary expense in many companies. When no alternative is available, using an employee that requires to be paid overtime is a better option than failing to cover a shift or leaving customers in the lurch. However, avoidable overtime can and should be prevented not only due to the increased expense, but a number of other often unthought-of of disadvantages.

Burnout and Employee Performance

Employees easily burnout when forced to work overtime, leaving them feeling exhausted and stressed. Working over 40 hours a week easily leads to burnout, which in turn leads to decreased performance and productivity. When employees are tired and drained, they are unable to perform at their full capacity.

Physical Health Problems

The stress associated with working overtime can lead to ulcers and other stomach problems. Studies have also shown that those working over 7 hours a day over an extended period of time are 60 percent more likely to have heart problems.

Mental Illness

Working overtime can double your chances of developing depression according to a study conducted by the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health and University College London. With mental health as an increasingly important topic in the workplace, depression is a serious issue facing employers today.


If you do not calculate overtime correctly, or fail to give salaried employees overtime for tasks that fall outside their job requirements, you could face extensive liabilities. Grocery giant Safeway is currently facing a class action suit for overtime cases, and has already forked over $26,000 on the first case to go to trial. In another recent case, an oil and gas company was forced to pay over $680,000 in back overtime wages for failing to classify their employees correctly.


Numbers don’t lie. Overtime costs can have a dramatic impact on business outside just the extra cost on an employee’s paycheck. The money that has been spent on overtime has to be recuperated by sales, leading to stress and frustration in all departments. Using an intuitive workforce management software can help you prevent overtime expenses and give you peace of mind.