Finding Balance While Working Overtime Shifts

The COVID-19 pandemic has placed a great deal of strain on companies and their employees. Healthcare workers, in particular, are stretched to their limits. But other “essential” workers, from your Amazon delivery driver to the cook behind the line at your favorite takeout place, are all feeling pressure to work longer hours to meet demand. With the economy in free fall, many people feel like picking up any extra shift available is undoubtedly preferable to the alternative. But how can we find balance when working overtime shifts? Is it even possible? 

Solutions for a Longer Work Week 

According to the research, working a lot of overtime can reduce your productivity. Working overtime does not mean you get more done. The Centers for Disease Control says that employees that work a lot of overtime are at risk of health issues, burnout, safety issues, and turnover. So, for workers handling grueling long shifts, it’s important to find some balance to avoid these issues. Here are a few ways to counteract your chronic overtime: 

Do take breaks.

This is a particularly important mandate for anyone in the healthcare space, where right now, it seems like the work will never end. But your health is too important, so taking even a 10-minute break twice a day will help recharge your tired mind and ultimately make you more efficient. Working a long shift day in and day out can cause you to lose focus and experience both mental and physical fatigue. Taking a few minutes to escape work by walking around the building or going to sit down in an out-of-the-way quiet place to have a snack, will help you regain your focus and maintain your energy.  


Any worker that spends hours on their feet or that works in a strenuous job will question that they need more exercise. But exercise relieves stress. While running around a busy hospital floor may get your steps in, taking the time each morning to do a series of stretches or yoga will give you a needed boost. If you’re an office worker, perhaps working out of your home, it is critically important to get up and take a break from your screen for a bit of movement. It is far too easy to stay sedentary at home and go from the TV to the computer screen. Resist this urge by taking time to walk or bicycle around the block or get in a home workout. Exercise is mind-clearing, healing, and will help you endure any long shifts by giving you more energy and focus.  

Eat, drink, and be merry.

Grabbing a processed meal or a snack-in-a-bar isn’t the best way to maintain balance when working overtime. You will maintain better if you take the time to make healthy food to eat while also consuming more water and less caffeine. Also, finding the time to enjoy your life outside of work, even if it’s curling up on the couch with a loved one and watching a favorite movie, will help you cope with all the work piling up around you. 

Let Us Know How We Can Help!

At The Custom Group of Companies, we know how hard it is to find balance, especially when working overtime. We help companies staff up during times of high volume to help their current workers regain balance. Talk to our team. We can help. 

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