Reported by Ryan Brennan
When a person is hired for the first time, there are often guidelines set that give an employee limits on how many hours they can work per week. Even most managers have limits, a limit that was typically viewed as 40 hours. The 40-hour work week was always stereotypical, however, it seems that stereotype could be lost nowadays.
For most Americans, 40-hour work weeks have now been extended. Businesses are becoming less lenient on those limitations, with their main focus being on getting their tasks and project needs done. This has turned into the employees feeling obligated to work more than 40 hours weekly, thinking that it will show their loyalty to the company.
Because of this, people are using weekends and nights to catch up on hours for the week. These excess hours spent at work would normally be spent with family or as a time of relaxation or rest. Instead, American workers now feel that their reputation within the company will be hurt if they don’t use the time to work.
According to a survey conducted by Gallup last summer, the new average for most full-time workers has risen to 46-47 hours per week. That basically means workers are only getting one day off instead of the normal two days off.
In that survey, nearly 1,200 workers participated. Of those workers, roughly 21 percent stated that they worked between 50 and 59 hours every week. Another 18 percent noted that they worked more than 60 hours every week, with 11 percent estimating between 41 and 49 hours.These rising weekly work hours are having a negative impact on workers’ work-life balance, which can be stressful and dangerous. Forty-two percent of Americans work 40-hours per week, while only 8 percent of full-time American workers spend less than 40 hours per week on the job.
The United States is becoming one of the leading countries when it comes to the highest average of weekly work hours. According to Black Enterprise, nearly 58 percent of managers in the U.S. work more than 40 hours every week. The only country that has a number higher than that is Mexico, where 61 percent of managers work over forty hours every week. On the other hand, China has a very low number in that regard. Only 19 percent of managers in China reported working more than 40 hours every week.
In the end, Americans would love to see the old 40-hour work week back in action. If companies start to realize that longer work weeks often lead to disgruntled employees, then they would be more flexible when it comes to scheduling. After all, they would receive a more dedicated and loyal team.