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Science Confirms Working Too Hard is Bad for Your Health—and Your Career

Although working very hard is often viewed positively as a sign you're truly dedicated to your job, new research suggests it may actually be harmful—to both your health and your career.

In a study published in Industrial and Labor Relations Review, researchers found that working too hard was strongly linked to reduced well-being, in terms of factors like stress, fatigue and job satisfaction. And even more surprisingly, putting in extra effort at work was moderately linked to "inferior" career-related outcomes, in terms of job security, recognition and career aspects, according to the Cut. In other words, giving all of yourself to your job might actually hurt your career. The reason, say researchers, is that working intensely takes such a toll on well-being, the cons outweigh the benefits, like impressing your boss.

To conduct the study, researchers examined the effects of overtime work and work intensity, aka work effort, on well-being (stress, fatigue and job satisfaction) and career-related outcomes (job security, recognition and career aspects), using data from more than 50,000 subjects from 36 European countries and all available industries, the Cut reports.

Based on the findings, researchers suggest employees become more aware of the broader limitations of working too hard and employers should allow workers the freedom to choose how and when they complete tasks.

So what does this all mean for us? Though completely slacking off on the job isn't going to land you in the C-suite, these findings should serve as a reminder that it's probably not worth missing bedtime with the kids every night for your job. You'll be doing your health and your career a big favor.

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