"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 week after week, but this could be a big mistake for both the health of the employee and the reputation of your business.

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

1. Productivity Drops. 

More hours simply doesn’t equal more work. Working beyond an 8 hour day, 40 hour week, employee productivity drops massively. Infact, research has proven that an employee working 60 hours a week for two months will produce less overall than the same employee working 40 hours a week for the same time period!

2. Illness.

Employees who work too many hours are much more likely to get ill, be it succumbing to a virus or something much more serious. Either way, this ends up costing your business big time in lost productivity. Simple burn-out and lack of recharge time is the main cause and can result in significant time out of the workplace.

3. Retention.

Eventually staff will burn out and leave to find more manageable hours of work. 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. The result of a culture of long hours is often the loss of the most talented and dedicated people in your business.

4. Customer Service.

If your overworked employees deals with customers, the level of service drops massively once they are working more than a 40 hour week. They simply don't have the energy and enthusiasm required to give great service. It will cost your business in reduced sales, increased customer complaints as well as possible customer losses and will effect 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 your employees.


Simon Ingleson

CEO/Founder @ RosterElf

Magically Simple Staff Rostering