Extra Time, Extra Shine: Unlocking the Benefits of Working Longer

Working long hours as an auditor is about as obvious as working with wood as a carpenter. It’s something you get warned about as a student and throughout your years as a trainee the red carpet of long hours gets rolled out just for you. 

Articles written about the effects of these long hours have been written since 2012 stating that the optimum amount of work hours is 40 hours. However, more recently, a study performed and published in 2024 by members of Frontiers, looked at the effects of these long hours of work on cognitive functions. This group of researchers systematically worked through over 60 studies and found that exceptionally long work hours had a negative impact on workers’ cognitive ability the following day. 

There is a catch though, the negative effects were only clear

on workers who did not volunteer to work late.  

Which could lead us to the conclusion that we, as humans, function better on long workhours when we choose to work late for our own satisfaction rather than a looming deadline. 

Something observed during the research for this article was the lack of discussions on the benefits of long working hours. There is no intention to convince anyone to work longer hours and ignore signs of burnout or fatigue. Instead, the aim is to propose a new perspective on long working hours for situations where they are non-negotiable. 

Gramsch, M. (2024, April 9)

Just like anything, it is possible to focus on either the negatives or the positives. Consider this: can the negative aspects of a job be the focus while still delivering high-quality work? Not really, as the human brain needs to stay positive to work effectively. Unfortunately, sometimes long work hours are simply part of the job. 

Here is a list of the positive effect you could experience from working longer hours:

1. Gain experience: The more time you spend doing something, the better you’ll get at it. See your work as something so precious that you want to use every opportunity you have to understand it and become an expert in the field. Especially as a trainee, the only way to differentiate yourself from the rest is by knowing more than they do. And the only way to get ahead is to spend more time than anyone else with your work. 

2. Rehearse commitment to a task:With constant media consumption, our ability to focus for long periods of time has deteriorated. Working longer hours forces you to stay focused and complete the task at hand. This is a skill that we all need to practice often! Remember, self-discipline isn’t something you’re born with, it’s something you have to cultivate.

3. Experience satisfaction of completing a task: Along with our lack of focus,it becomes increasingly easy to give up on difficult tasks. Once you get comfortable with not finishing what you started, you don’t experience the satisfaction of completing something difficult anymore! It’s easy to feel like you’re getting out of doing something difficult, yet it leads to lost trust in oneself. (rebuilding your trust in yourself takes time to rebuild and can affect all areas of your life).

4. It will get easier: Consider this, if this is the worst situation you’ve ever been in, it means it can only get better. You can confidently walk into any situation knowing that what you’ve been through was way worse than anything else could be. It’s a small consolation but consolation all the same.

Now, with these benefits in mind, let us reiterate that we do not believe they outweigh the bad effects of burnout and being overworked for months on end. There are few things as damaging to your relationships, mental health and physical health as burnout (we encourage you to speak to your superior or manager if you feel that you don’t have the ability to cope with the working hours anymore) 

If your hours are inconvenient and you need a little encouragement to get through the day, we hope these perks provide you with a glimmer of hope and inspiration to keep in mind as you strive to attain your full potential. Keep these advantages in mind when you’re wondering what drove you to pursue this dreadful job.   

Sometimes we just need a little perspective shift to get us back on track 😉


Gramsch, M. (2024, April 9), ‘Study warns: Too much work makes us more stupid – here’s why’, Basic Thinking, viewed 9 April 2024,