Why? I was really sick for a week in January and had to take a week off at the beginning of this month to deal with some family stuff. What does that mean, really? Working lots and lots of hours to try and close the gap in my goal numbers. And that means… I’m TIRED.
Due to the lackluster job market, people are doing whatever they need to do to keep their jobs.
“If you’re lucky enough to have a job right now, you’re probably doing everything possible to hold onto it,” Sara Robinson wrote recently on AlterNet in an article titled “Bring Back the 40-hour Work Week.” “If the boss asks you to work 50 hours, you work 55. If she asks for 60, you give up weeknights and Saturdays, and work 65.”
Studies researching the results of the 40-hour work week and overtime productivity repeatedly show industrial workers have eight reliable working hours in them. On average, you get no more widgets out of a 10-hour day than you do out of an eight-hour day. Likewise, the overall output for the work week will be exactly the same at the end of six days as it would be after five days.
So, paying hourly workers to stick around once they’ve put in their weekly 40 is basically nothing more than a stupid and abusive way to burn up profits. Let ‘em go home, rest up and come back on Monday. It’s better for everybody.
This is truly enlightening if you consider the number of hours an attorney at a big law firm puts in per day, per week, and per month. Above the Law reviewed Robinson’s story, concluding “one should work to live, not the other way around.”
However, it seems like the majority of working Americans are “the other way around.” I watch as my friends in law firms toil for 12 hours a day, only to spend their few, free waking moments drinking and venting about how they have no lives.
What do you think? Do you think American working culture will allow a return of the 40-hour work week as the norm?