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When Is Working Overtime Not Worth It Financially? How Much Is Too Much?



How much overtime is too much

Most people have found themselves in need of extra money at some point in their lives. Whether it is due to an upcoming holiday, birthday, or holiday, just to pair for unforeseen expense… It would help if you found a way to make additional income.

Getting a credit card or loan can be an option, but it might not be worth it in the long term. However, chances are you can work overtime to make some extra money and supplement your expenses.

There are many other reasons to consider working overtime. However, people usually don’t pay as much attention to the negatives. After all, working overtime can also be negative for your daily life.

This made us wonder, how much overtime is too much? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of working overtime! Here at Turbo Wallet, we are all about helping you improve your finances without negatively affecting your life.

Benefits Of Working Overtime

Make More Cash

One of the biggest reasons employees work overtime is to get more money. When more money reaches your account at the end of the month, you may start to think that working overtime is worth it or not. The truth is that many aspects can make working overtime worth it or not, but money is always a benefit from doing so.

In some states and workplaces, the overtime pay may be conventional or higher than usual. In the last model, every hour more gives a reasonable amount of money to the employee’s pocket. This is something really important to consider if you would like to work overtime.

Money in woman's hands

On the other hand, working overtime may even allow you to take more vacation days in the future. It is common for many companies to let their employees take more days off for overtime work.

Depending on your objectives, you may consider it more beneficial to work overtime in exchange for days off. This can be useful if you want to go on a trip with your family or friends. Or you can use that time to rest as you like.

Get Better At What You Do

If you use those extra hours to be productive, there is a strong possibility you will get better at the job you perform. It can be really useful for young workers who are new to their roles.

Using overtime work to improve your skills is something that independently can give you a raise in the future. No, we are not saying you should expect a raise just for doing overtime.

We are saying that by getting better at your work, this could be the case in the future. If not, you can be happy you learned something new that may be at hand for your next job.

Stay at home mom goes back to work after 20 years

Finally, those hours of overtime work can teach you to be more efficient and work under pressure.

If there is a big project to finish at a close deadline and you can manage the situation with extra work, that is good. The next projects will be much easier for you, and your competitiveness will increase.

Preferable Over A Second Job

Getting a second job can be a good option if you need additional money. The problem is that you must go through a stressful learning process and enter a new environment which may not be adequate.

Something important that you should consider when working overtime is that they can make extra money with a job they know about. This makes it easier than getting a second job in many cases.

The good thing about working overtime is that it allows you to stay in your comfort zone. All while making extra money.

With a second job, you would have to organize your day carefully. This includes always considering how to complement it with the first one. In the end, you can end up losing more of your time.


Everything we talked about doesn’t include any expenses that can reduce your income. Taking a second job (depending on the location) may make you spend more money on gas.

Also, it would help if you thought about tech equipment and tools for the job.

In conclusion, if you are in the situation of deciding you want to earn extra money. Doing overwork might be the best and most straightforward strategy.

Cons Of Working Overtime

Be Careful With Your Performance

It is not uncommon when doing overtime work for people to focus entirely on putting in more hours to get more money. However, sometimes they forget about the most important thing: performance.

If you are sure you need to do overtime work, you will have to put your best performance in. Otherwise, you are risking your reputation, metrics, and even your job in the long term.

Think about it, why would your company want to pay you extra for doing a poor job or no work at all?

Impact On Your Physical Health

Nowadays, more and more workers feel stressed because of working overtime. Being burned out at work can affect your health in many ways. It is now a legitimate medical symptom listed in the World Health Organization’s diseases classification.

stress 2

Symptoms include energy depletion, emotional exhaustion, and increased negative feelings towards your work. You can also feel less productive and ineffective. If you work overtime and feel like this, don’t hesitate to ask for help.

Less Personal Time

Most of our days are spent at work. Working 9-5 can be an ordeal at times. Do you want to lose time in your personal life to work more? This can mean less time for your favorite activities, spending time with family and friends.

No matter how much money you bring home, if you take this to the extreme, your family and relationships might complain that you don’t have time for them. They may not tell you, but it will surely negatively affect you.

family walking

A study by Cornell University discovered that 30% of people that worked more than 60 hours a week had family conflicts. It would help to find the perfect harmony between two things. Working to sustain your family and being with them to enjoy the time.

Myths About Working Overtime

It is not uncommon for people to work overtime under pretenses.

No, we don’t mean misinformation shared by your employees but choosing to do overtime for the wrong reasons. Believing you will impress your bosses, get a raise, earn the respect of your colleagues, being mandatory, and others, are just of them.

Working overtime should be beneficial to you instead of becoming a problem. For this reason, doing it for the right reasons is paramount.


The first myth about working overtime is that they will get a raise by doing this. Raises are often given based on results, not just the amount of work. If you think working more hours will get you a raise, you are probably wrong.

Many companies offer overtime pay. So you may be already getting more dollars for working more hours. This may cause your boss to think you don’t deserve a raise because you are getting more money from those extra hours. Paradoxical, we know, but it happens.

If we go back and say you have an established salary, we emphasize again the need for employers to pay for results, not for time worked.

Don’t get us wrong. Working overtime can show your commitment to your job. It might boost your chances of getting promoted or a raise if done correctly. However, it is not a matter of working overtime but how you do it.

Hard Worker

Many people think that their bosses will believe that they are hard workers if they work overtime. Well, that is not necessarily what is going to happen in reality.

Often, if you are working overtime, your boss could think you are inefficient. Why couldn’t you have finished the work in the 40 hour week? Or maybe this person didn’t plan their work correctly, which is why they have to work overtime.


Now, if your boss asks you to go and do extra work, that may very well look good in your boss’s eyes. However, your self-selecting work overtime may not look as good.

Also, if you are given too much work, and you don’t think you will complete it in the 40 hour week, you should do something. You need to tell your boss that you can’t get it done in the stipulated time. It is never good to try to be the hero in the last hour!

Drag Others

Another myth is thinking that everyone should also do it because of doing extra hours. Please, do not fall into this pitfall. This might make everybody else on your team dislike you, including your boss. Think about it from the other employees’ perspective.

You will see this a lot in your workplace. Some people will try to annoy their team workers by dragging them into the extra hours. Their team won’t even have work to do.

So, in conclusion, if you are working overtime because of something you need to do, keep it to yourself. Don’t expect anybody else to come to the office on Saturday. Most people have lives outside work!

Get More Done

If you think that you will get more done because of working overtime, we are sorry to tell you it doesn’t work that way. You may have more time to do more things, but doing more doesn’t necessarily lead to better things.


Numerous studies show that the more hours you work in a day, the less productive you are. You start making more mistakes, and then you have to come back and do that re-work.

Why is this? Because you are tired, hungry, and not thinking clearly. Everyone wants a worker who is fresh and clear of mind. It may be better to step aside and get everything done efficiently and well distributed.


If everybody around you works overtime, you may feel the need to do it too, even if you don’t want to. It’s the culture, your boss expects it, and nothing you can do.

This is a serious problem in Japan, for example. People go to work every day, and they do a lot of extra hours. This comes to the point where they can’t think of anything other than their jobs anymore. Several suicides are registered because of these awful conditions.

people in office

But you know what? You do have a choice. You don’t have to work in places that force you to do an incredibly high number of extra hours. You can quit and do something else.

It would be best if you found the perfect life/work balance. It is not nice to be stressed out all day because of working overtime. Money might help achieve happiness but won’t buy it for you.

Should You Work Overtime?

One common belief is that the more you work, the more you get done. But is it true?

Looking at a study from the U.S department of health and services, we notice several things about people who work more than 40 hours a week.

They found that all of these people who worked overtime had negative effects on their health. These include all the physical, social, mental, and emotional aspects of their life.

Their productivity also was much lower. The results are clear and something to be fearful of.

Another study conducted by The Canadian also showed disturbing facts about people who work more than 40 hours a week. Their findings were that overtime working is directly linked to clinical depression. They even said that over time contributes to human misery.

overtime working

The details of the study get even worse. They also found that you end up having to take more sick days for all of the time you spend trying to be more productive. This is due to this overtime-induced depression that you face.

We have a Kansas University study if you need more proof of what overtime working causes. They found that the best solution for this problem is, well, to stop working. They found that working more exacerbates the problem – the research points to not working overtime as the best policy.

Now that we have taken a look at these three pieces of research, we can elaborate on a conclusion. Overtime working is a no-go. It is shown to decrease productivity and harm employees’ health. However, this keeps happening in the real world, and it won’t stop.

In very few cases working overtime can be useful. Only if the deadline for a big project is close and you need to adjust some things. However, we wouldn’t recommend it.

But, if you had to do it, is there a way to know how much overtime is too much? Let’s see.

Tips To Know How Much Overtime Is Too Much

Here are some tips to know how much overtime is too much. You will also understand how to make the most of it and when to call it quits.

Don’t Over Do It

While working overtime now and then, we are sure you don’t want to make it a habit. Consistently working more than 8 hours can lead to a perception that you cannot cope with the number of tasks at hand. It can also bring into question your professional competence.

On the other hand, working overtime every once in a while can be good. This only applies if you are helping the team meet a big deadline or cope with a periodically heavier workload. Always be careful not to do too much.

resting in bed

A study conducted by DeskTime, which analyzed over 65,000 employees, discovered that each hour of overtime worked led to a 19% decrease in productivity.

So for the sake of getting things done, be honest with yourself and go home. This will do better for you rather than squeezing out some more work.

The golden rule here is: Work overtime for specific and limited cases. Avoid making it a regular aspect of your workday.

Make Sure You Are Acknowledged

You can only read the working overtime benefits if someone notices the extra work you are putting in. Otherwise, you are just burning the midnight oil for the benefit and often to the detriment of yourself.

It is also important to log the number of extra hours you do at your work. Since 2007, the amount of work-hour lawsuits has increased by 450%. Logging your overtime is crucial when in the court of law, or you need to prove your time put in.

writing in book

You can do this in a variety of ways:

  • Sending out a timestamp email or Slack message.
  • Uploading your finished work to your timestamped project management tool.
  • If your company uses time tracking software that logs time automatically, the previous 2 can be skipped.

Logging in your overtime work also eliminates any dispute about working hours. This is a benefit both to you and to your company.

Finish Your Tasks

This may seem obvious, but if you choose to work overtime, make sure you are getting work done. If you only let time pass by, you will be affected in many ways. Not only can this end up fighting you back, but it is also a terrible way to live.

daily checklist

You lose time you could be spending pursuing fulfilling activities. In addition, you won’t even get the fulfillment of having produced something of value. Stay in the office if it’s a task that needs to be done.


Overtime should be considered in an emergency and not for a long period. If overtime is not common in your workplace and you want to take advantage of it, go ahead.

But don’t let it in any way become a habit.

Sometimes we can’t just say no to more, especially when it comes to money. We recommend doing extra hours for 1 or 2 weeks to achieve your short financial goal. Then, stop for a while before considering it an option again.

In conclusion, most workers have financial problems. So, we can’t tell you not to try to make extra money. But do it the smart way. Always put your personal life before work and try not to stress.

If you would like to know how to invest that money you earn in your extra hours, you will find our investing section useful.

You will find many articles explaining ways to invest and increase your capital. In that way, financial freedom can become a reality. No more putting extra hours in to go on vacations or to a nice restaurant. Hope you enjoyed the article and see you at the next one!

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