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How to Prevent Marketing Team Burnout and Get Over Overtime

by Joe Staples  |  
April 14, 2017
  |  1,557 views

This year, the US government began enforcing an updated overtime pay law, and businesses immediately dialed in to the financial and operational impact of the change. Although the new law affects only a certain group of workers, overtime is still a hot-button issue for workers who spend more than 40 hours a week in the office or on the computer.

Marketers are often known for late nights and jam-packed days. Unfortunately, that kind of schedule can lead to diminished productivity at best—and burnout and turnover at worst. Considering that one employee costs a company 6-9 months in training efforts and up to 213% of salary to replace, there's a clear financial imperative to address the issue sooner rather than later.

According to Workfront's 2016-17 State of Marketing Work report, 66% of marketers work more than 40 hours a week on a regular basis. In fact, every year, the average marketer puts in an entire extra workweek (41.6 hours) compared with his or her non-marketing counterparts.

And yet, the same survey reveals marketers are spending only 38% of their day on their primary job duties. The answer to the dilemma seems obvious: If marketers could increase the percentage of time they spend performing their most important work—the real work—we'd soon see overtime numbers start to fall and real productivity rise.

But how? After all, marketers aren't deliberately wasting 62% of each day on unimportant tasks.


For a start, managers can take a closer look to realize their team members are on average spending 21% of their time in meetings, 17% devoted to email, and another 17% occupied by administrative tasks and interruptions.

Managers who acknowledge there is a disconnect with focusing on the right work, and who then deal with those daily distractions head on, can ultimately avoid unnecessary overtime and employee burnout.

Though these tips may seem obvious, it takes conscientious marketing managers to address three critically important points head on.


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Joe Staples is chief marketing officer of Workfront, a Cloud-based enterprise work automation solution that helps marketing, IT, and other teams avoid excessive email, redundant status meetings, and disconnected tools.

LinkedIn: Joe Staples

Twitter: @jstaples21

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