Long working hours may raise the risk of mental decline and possibly dementia […] those working more than 55 hours a week had poorer mental skills than those who worked a standard working week. […] problems with short-term memory and word recall.
The effects were cumulative, the longer the working week was the worse the test results were.
Professor Cary Cooper, an expert in workplace stress at the University of Lancaster, said it had been long established that consistently working long hours was bad for general health, and now this study suggested it was also bad for mental functioning.
He said: “This should say to employers that insisting people work long hours is actually not good for your business, and that there is a business case for making sure people have a good work-life balance.
“But my worry is that in a recession people will actually work longer hours. There will be a culture of ‘presenteeism’ – people will go to work even if they are ill because they want to show commitment, and make sure they are not the next to be made redundant.”
According to Wikipedia
Presenteeism is the opposite of absenteeism. In contrast to absenteeism, when employees are absent from work, presenteeism discusses the problems faced when employees come to work in spite of illness, which can have similar negative repercussions on business performance.
It can also refer to the expectation of employers for their employees to be present at work regardless of whether any work is available or accomplished.