Ask HR: How do I tell my boss that the increased work load is killing me?

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What you need to know:

  • The quality of your output might be compromised because of your state of mind. This might land you into more challenges with your employer.


  • If you work with machines, you might be more prone to accidents. As you rightfully state, you require time to bond with your family. After all, you are working to provide for them.

The workload at my job has shot up. I have gone for 10 months on duty literally every other day. I know that the workload can sometimes increase and considered that before getting here. But how do I politely tell my boss that the fatigue is draining me and I also need 'me-time' and even time for my family?

The Employment Act provides for annual leave for all workers on completion of one-year service. Full time workers are entitled to 20 working days for 12 months of service. This leave is prorated per month where an employee has served for two months but less than one year. The employer may, with the consent of the employee, divide the minimum annual leave entitlement into different parts to be taken at different intervals. The leave granted is to allow the employee to take a well-deserved rest. In your case, you run the risk of contracting ailments caused by extreme stress and fatigue. If you are lucky to avoid those, you might expose yourself to mental challenges due to the pressure. You seem frustrated, which can affect your mental wellness.

The quality of your output might be compromised because of your state of mind. This might land you into more challenges with your employer. If you work with machines, you might be more prone to accidents. As you rightfully state, you require time to bond with your family. After all, you are working to provide for them. The continued absence from them might plunge you into domestic challenges. This will further affect your physical and mental health, as well as your productivity at work. Always remember that after your productive years, you will retreat to your family. Therefore, it is critical that you nurture and protect the relationship so that you don’t age as a lonely being. I am wondering, does your boss take leave? If he does, they should also allow you to take leave. This should not be a difficult conversation unless they are selfish.

In the event that you were taken ill or resigned, who would take up your duties? You must train a team member to handle your responsibilities. I assume you have a medical cover taken up by your company. This will cease when you exit the company. However, the non-communicable diseases you contract while working will last with you to your sunset years, and it is your family that will take care of you. Don’t be shy. Approach your boss and discuss when you can take your annual leave. It is a benefit provided by law. 

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