Bright Side

Why People Who Leave the Office at 5 PM Have a Better Life

According to research conducted during World War II, there are absolutely no benefits in working extra hours, it brings damage not only to the job you do, but also to your social life, your mental life, and your health in general. It may not feel like it, when it’s 6 or 7 pm and you’re still at the office, but trust us, people who leave work on time are healthier and happier.

Here at Bright Side we definitely prefer quality over quantity — especially when it comes to working hours. So here’s why it’s worthwhile to call it a day at 5 PM sharp, and head home.

Working for long hours is not productive.

Studies have shown that after a certain point, working more hours has more or less the same output—that is, each extra hour at the office is much less productive than the previous one and even causes diminishing returns. That’s why many workplaces measure productivity by the results rather than hours and don’t actually care if you work fewer hours, as long as you get your work done.

You stay healthier.

Additional working hours results in an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, fatigue, low energy levels, and poor health. A study conducted on 3 continents found out that people who work over 55 hours a week have a 33% higher risk of stroke, compared to people who work under 40 hours a week. Also according to this study overworked employees have a 13% higher risk of coronary heart disease.

You get more done during the day.

If you get used to the idea that you have to be finished with all your tasks at 5 p.m., you`ll realize there’s actually not that much time — and that’s great! No unnecessary distractions, long coffee breaks, or casual conversations with colleagues, means better time-managing skills. People practicing this work schedule share that it actually makes you leave the office feeling good about how productive your day was.

You know how to protect your own boundaries.

Setting boundaries and letting your colleagues know that you’re leaving the office at 5 p.m. sharp, even if they prefer to stay late, sets the right atmosphere in the office. Often people don’t leave on time just because they don’t want to be the black sheep and seem not devoted enough. It`s important to understand where work ends and your own life begins, or you could completely forget about yourself.

You will enjoy this extra free time more and get a proper amount of rest.

You might never feel tired of staying at the office late and you may even love your work, but when you give yourself permission to leave your desk on time, you’ll feel how nice it is to have an extra hour or 2 every day, just to yourself. Catching up with the family and friends, playing sports, taking your dog to a park, and devoting time to your hobbies!

These activities replenish our energy supplies. You don’t have to include other people in your free-time activities, if you don`t want to. Even doing a meditation, painting your nails, or spending time in nature — having “me” time is essential for long-term mental and physical health, and, for sure, has great impact on our productivity and quality of life in general.

Do you leave work immediately at 5 p.m. or do you stay at the office longer? Why? We’d be happy to hear from you in the comment section below.