We all know that doing overtime is often crucial to keeping your job, but guess what? It could also be stopping you from climbing the corporate ladder.
In a cruel twist of fate a number of bosses, managers and career advisors have said working late can actually count against you when going for a promotion, as it is a sign of poor time management.
Also, this problem is getting worse in Australia. Although we are known as the “lucky” country, an ABC investigation has found we have, “One of the worst levels of work-life balance in the developed world.”
“While the official line is that businesses can make salaried employees work only 38 hours (per week) plus ‘reasonable’ additional time, the statistics tell a story all too familiar for many workers,” (ABC).
According to the investigation, “In Australia… we put in an average of 5.1 hours of unpaid work each week in the form of skipped lunches, late finishes, early starts and the like.”
And even when we do get offered a reprieve, it doesn’t always work, as one graduate told the ABC. “Recently, a friend of mine was told by a manager to take a ‘weekend off’ because her performance was slipping—but that didn’t take into account the work she was expected to do before Monday for other managers.”
Worse, as events manager Emily pointed out, flexibility doesn’t always go both ways. “I have hobbies outside of work and I requested to leave early on four particular days,” Emily told the ABC.
“While they allowed it, it was met with annoyance. This follows many weeks of overtime I did during a busy period.”
If this sounds like you, you may want to reconsider your hard-working ways, because, “In some workplaces, staying at work late actually means your time management skills aren’t up to scratch” (ABC).
“I don’t think it’s anything to be proud about being the last one in the office,” (career expert Sally-Anne Blanshard).
Alwyn Lau, learning and development practitioner, expressed a similar sentiment, saying that although over-40 hour work-weeks are the ‘new normal’, “This doesn’t necessarily translate to greater productivity.”
Another source, Anna, who works in the legal sector, told the ABC that not only can you, “Definitely get promoted while working exactly 9 or 9:30 to 5,” but also employers are, “More likely to suspect that junior workers who stay late need to work on their time management skills.”
If this sounds like you, check out our tips on stress management, gleaned from Australia’s top entrepreneurs.