Chasing your passion is no easy feat. And for most people that path leads them to the startup life. Very soon, ‘eat, sleep, hustle, repeat’ becomes your life’s mantra. Sounds familiar? Research shows that startup workers admit to working over 80 hours a week, which is seen as the norm as compared to a normal 40-45 hour work day elsewhere.
Most people in the industry know that building a business is no easy task which is why working beyond acceptable hours is a common practice. But should workaholism be a trend?
When asked about the benefits of working in a startup, most people cite that the flexible hours, a chilled out work environment and relaxed dress codes are what entices them to join. But, within the first few weeks employees and founders begin to realize that they are being worked to the bone.
While most startups face a severe resource crunch especially in their boot strapping days, there are several reasons why promoting a workaholic culture can be counterproductive to what you’re trying to achieve. Here’s why startups need to stop glorifying workaholism and promote a better work-life balance for their employees:
- It’s unhealthy
While the 9-5 routine might not be for everyone, working extended hours is not the way to go either. Longer working hours and no breaks lead to higher rates of stress. Lack of sleep and erratic eating habits are also detrimental to your overall health which affect your performance at work.
- It reduces productivity
Chasing near impossible targets might get your adrenaline pumping, but doing it all the time is not an ideal way to work. Taking short, consistent breaks throughout the day makes you more productive than working straight through. Research also shows that taking a longer vacation during the year can help reduce levels of stress and boost your overall productivity.
- It takes a toll on relationships
Outside of work, startup workers of all age groups have different responsibilities when it comes to their families and social circles. Being overly stretched at work can bleed into your personal time and cause a strain on your relationships. It’s necessary to draw clear boundaries between personal and professional life and take time out to bond with your loved ones.
- It affects creativity
Being overworked can often create mental blocks. In order to create the most innovative work, you need to have the freedom to explore different interests in life which will further inspire you in the work arena. Everyone needs that breathing space to clear their head before they can get back in to the work zone.
For all the workaholics out there, we’re here to remind you that it’s okay to disconnect sometimes. You don’t need to know what’s happening all 24 hours of the day. Some mails can be replied to tomorrow, meetings can be pushed and calls can be made later. Put yourself first and unlearn the unhealthy work habits that have accumulated over the years.
Great ideas come alive when you take time out.
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