I hope this thread suits this subforum, after all overworking is considered a societal issue.
When reading different threads, especially the ones on minimum wage or some other financial societal issue, often people mention working 50, even 60
or more hours a week, while being proud of being a "hard worker". This always makes me think on the long-term negative issues of putting in that long
There have been lots of studies on the matter and determing the "optimal amount" of work per week is largely dependent on the individual, their
lifestyle as well as many other factors, although generally studies tend to agree that around 40 hours is the optimal work time long-term. Round here
at least, generally people tend to agree that 40 hours is the reasonable amount and the amount of hours that should earn any adult enough to live
reasonably well, getting their food bought, rent covered etc. And well that is something that is expected from the employers, that is how the minimum
wage is generally set out, so anybody working 40 hours can live reasonably well and has no need for government benefits or longer hours.
In my eyes, the 40-hours is reasonable amount, although it could be a bit less. At some point, for most people, putting in the longer hours could lead
to health issues and significant productivity loss at a bit older age. Of course, this can lead to higher salary short-term, but the health troubles
that can arise are not worth it, at least in my eyes - cardivascular issues, problems with cortisole levels (stress hormone), for office workers often
overweight due to not having enough time for physical activities. Fatigue can also lead to mistakes at work and other problems.
Besides all the health issues, there are many other things to consider, which create the question, how important is the additional salary gained. Long
hours do not let a person spend much time with their family, with their outside-work friends. Long-term this can lead to marital issues, general
disconnectedness. Also for the children, not having the time with their family can lead to different negative psychological effects.
All this in my eyes at least, is not worth it. One needs to separate work from other life. No money is worth losing good friends, family problems,
I personally tend to believe in working smart, rather than putting in the extreme hours. Usually my weeks vary between 25 and 35 hours with addition
to a few additional hours working from home. I consider myself very hard-working person and well, for me at least, the longer hours would not earn
significantly more due to productivity loss, I believe these would rather lead to lower performance. Taking enough breaks and having enough rest helps
me do significantly more than the additional hours would.
But what do you believe is the reasonable amount of hours to work every week? Is overworking worth the negative issues it can lead to? Is it
reasonable from employer to expect their employees put in long-hours just to survive?
edit on 18-3-2014 by Cabin because: (no reason given)