Under Article 83 of Conditions of Employment by the Department of Labor and Employment’s Bureau of Labor Relations, the normal hours of work of any employee shall not exceed eight hours a day. Conversely, according to a report by the Philippine Statistics Authority, around eight million Filipinos in 2015 worked more than 48 hours a week; that is one additional day of working beyond the usual Monday-to-Friday eight-hour shift.
There has been mobilization of efforts to raise awareness on the perils of overworking, with some politician even called for a review of labor policies in the country. But for a developing nation such as the Philippines, where workers force themselves to render overtime for additional income, the provisions of the law to prevent overworking may be futile.
Work to live, not live to work
Aside from financial considerations, another factor on why overworking persists is one’s destructive self-evaluation. For many people, career advancement is a measure of success, and work performance is an indicator of self-worth.
While aspiring for organizational promotion may serve as a positive reinforcement, it becomes a disruption in self-growth when one’s personal time is jeopardized at the expense of work-related validation. Institutions and corporations must pay heed to their employees’ work-life balance to maintain a healthy work environment.
Meanwhile, some research suggests that successful people—including those as extolled as the company CEOs—are more likely to get depressed than the rest of the general public. This is due to, among other reasons, their relentless drive to compete and succeed, which eventually leads them to run on fumes.
Indubitably, mental health is as vital as the physical well-being. In the context of overworking, both the mind and the body are exhausted. Exhaustion is proven lethal with several reported cases of death by overwork—and if in case you’ve forgotten, probably because you’re too preoccupied with your office errands: you work to get by, not to die.
Featured image by Roc Verdera.
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