Dead from "Overworking"

The news of O&M China employee who died from overworking was widely shared on Facebook. Li Yuan, 24 suffered a sudden heart attack on May 14 and was said that he had been working overtime for a month, not leaving the offices until 11pm every day.

The image above was the last message on Weibo.

Been reading about it and last reported that his health was not in good condition and has been on medical leave for a week before the attack. It was not due to overworking. However, this has actually raise the issue of work-life balance regardless of the real cause.

As someone who comes from an agency background, working late and long nights are normal thing. Having to work late nights for a long time might be bad for health but it might not be as bad as working a normal 9am-6pm job.

Why would I say so? Working late nights for a certain period of time doesn't mean you don't get enough rest. There's a lot of break in between and when we work late, we enter office late too UNLESS if the job is really very URGENT, we some how managed it. Plus, if you are enjoying what you are doing, you get more energetic when the nights get later. In advertising we work with a fun bunch of people who aren't just colleagues but friends. In such working condition, late nights might be bad for health but at least the stress level is shared and managed properly.

Unlike a 9 to 6 job, in a 'cold' corporate working condition, the stress level could be so high that even petty little thing bugs you for day..... and even night. That  keeps you thinking about it 24 hours regardless while you are at work, eating, in the toilet, having a family weekend and even in your sleep. And people might make a super petty thing into a very very BBBBBBBBBBIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG issue.

Not just that, it might be the office environment and the people you are working with that caused you so much stresssssssssssssssssssss that you get so tired and fed up with your work. Exhausted even if you can go home early.

This kinda reminds me of the 25-years PWC auditor who died in a few years back. She pass away after contracting viral encephalitis and it was stated that "overwork led to a weakened immune system, which makes her more vulnerable to infections". OMG and I just recovered from a viral fever due to infection. And I just told Jessie that my whole body felt like jelly since it's in recovery mode.

Overworking / working late does take a toll on your body but it is the stress that caused all. Stress management is what's important. Agency people juggle to manage work-life balance but do remember that we don't work late every single day. There are days and weeks that we can leave work like normal and we have our own flexibility in managing our time. Besides, working 9 to 6 doesn't mean you don't bring work home. Some times you still work late into the night to finish planning. And if your mind is still thinking of job after working hours, you are still some how "working".

Also, do something that you like. If you are sick of what you are doing and dread going to work every day, it's time to leave. Don't stay and stress yourself over. Don't ignore this warning as this might affect your health.

Work-life balance is important so don't ignore it too. Never worth working your life out for a company and ignore your family and friends. Your company can easily dispose you off if they don't find you suitable but your family and friends will always be there for you to share your happiness, sadness and in times of need.

Til then! Do what you love, love what you do. Life is short. Live the moment.

Siew Cheng