"Guolaosi" is the term now used in China for people who have literally worked themselves to death.

The problem is so bad in China that some estimates put the annual "Guolaosi" death toll at 600,000 per year.

It's easy to let employees who do not complain work extra hours weekly, but this could be a big mistake for the employee's health and the reputation of your business.

So what are the significant negative impacts of overworking your employees:

1. Productivity Drops. 

More hours doesn't equal more work. Working beyond an 8-hour day, 40-hour week, employee productivity drops massively. Research has shown that an employee working 60 hours a week for two months will produce less overall than the employee working 40 hours a week for the same period!

2. Illness.

Employees who work too many hours are much more likely to get ill, succumbing to a virus or something much more severe. Either way, this costs your business big time in lost productivity. Again, burn-out and lack of recharge time is the leading cause and can result in significant time out of the workplace.

3. Retention.

Eventually, staff will burn out and leave to find more manageable work hours. Whilst they may accept long working weeks for a while, a combination of health problems, pressure from family members, stress and simply exhaustion will eventually make them look around for another job. A culture of long hours often results in the loss of the most talented and dedicated people in your business.

4. Customer Service.

If your overworked employees deal with customers, the level of service drops massively once they work more than a 40-hour week. They don't have the energy and enthusiasm required to give excellent service. It will cost your business with reduced sales, increased customer complaints, and losses affecting your business reputation.

Check out RosterElf's rostering software to see how it can help you manage your shifts across your employees to avoid overworking them.


Simon Ingleson

CEO/Founder @ RosterElf

Magically Simple Staff Rostering