There is a question which plagues many of us throughout our working life, and one which affects the way we think about work and the quality of the job we perform. That question is ‘should i do overtime?’. Of course, not every job in the world offers overtime, so if you are not in a position where they will offer you extra work you can ignore this. However if you are, you may have faced the dilemma of whether an extra hour at the end of the day is truly worth your time.
On the one hand, completing extra work for your job is great because it gives you that extra funding for your holiday or Christmas presents; but on the other hand it takes away the time you get to spend at home with your family at the end of the day.
Most of the time if you decide to work overtime for a company, they will offer you double pay or at least time and a half. This means that per hour you could be earning 1.5-2 times your normal hourly rate. The worth of this will depend on what your hourly rate is. If you aren’t on a high hourly rate to begin with, you may not see a big difference in your pay at the end of the month.
When you are deciding to undertake overtime for your work, you need to consider a few things:
- Traffic – If you are working in a busy area, you may find that the time you normally finish will allow you to get home in 30 minutes. However, if you stay, you may be caught in traffic from a sporting game or rush hour and have to sit in the car for an hour. The issue here is of course that you are losing even more time when you’ve already worked extra, but you are also using up fuel in your car which could negate the money you’ve just worked to earn.
- Public Transport Cost – public transport is stressful and it isn’t always cheap. If you are going to be paying half of your overtime just to get home afterwards- there is no point in you staying.
- Your Mental Health – if you perform overtime too often, you are taking away the life part of your work-life balance. The issue with this is that your brain has less time to switch off at the end of the day. Try to balance your overtime to once a week if possible so that you still have the time to unwind.
If you are looking at doing overtime, you will also want to look at the amount of money you will be taxed at the end of the month. It could be that you end up taxed more because you’ve earnt more, so in the end you actually lose a bit of your money. There is also the issue of not being paid for the right amount of time. If you are worried that your employer may not pay you for the full time you are in the building, there are timecards online which you can use to clock in and out of work: check it out and see if you can convince your employer to add them to the building.