U.S. Employees Increasingly Overworked
> 5/26/2006 10:27:16 AM

A new statement by a Chicago firm specializing in workforce outplacement is only the latest to suggest that Americans need more time off. Though they are far more efficient than at any time in the past, a large percentage of today's workers have insufficient leisure time, and this increase in overall hours often fosters anxiety and leads to further difficulty in balancing personal and professional lives. Various successive studies report that at least one in three Americans is chronically overworked, a number that has risen exponentially in the past two decades.

Harvard economics professor Juliet B. Schor attracted attention in 1991 with "Overworked: The Unexpected Decline of Leisure"; a book which details this steady increase in both overall work load and hours on the job. The average American's productivity rate is nearly double that of the late 1940's, but greater efficiency has not led to more personal and family time, with many workers accumulating a significant number of unused days for vacation and sick leave. Employees on the whole perform more tasks, stay at work longer, and spend their money more freely in the U.S. than in any other nation, but such prosperous statistics also carry unfortunate side effects. Mental health is only one of the variables suffering under this phenomenon, with nearly twice as many incidents of depression among those who feel professionally overextended.

Beyond eating well and exercising regularly, seeking professional counseling, and avoiding addictive behaviors, experts suggest simply taking that planned vacation, making a general reassessment of career goals, and, if neccessary, looking for a new and more rewarding position. The pure speed and volume of commerce and competition in our marketplace show no signs of abating, and many employees will continue to place career before leisure. Some argue that aiming to focus equally on these two lives is unrealistic, but any small changes which move one toward that elusive balance are worth exploring.


Not surprised at these findings. So many individuals report working more for less money, feeling pressure when they take time from work from colleagues and bosses, etc. I like the European culture of work and personal life. As usual, a great post.
URL: http://drdeborahserani.blogspot.com/
Posted by: Deb 5/29/2006 8:02:00 AM

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