Tired after the work week? There never seems to be enough time to do it all-work, exercise, eat, spend quality time with family and friends and somehow be relaxed enough to get a good night’s sleep.
Are you over-worked? Could be. If you are working 55 hours per week or more, studies reveal you could likely be damaging your health. People working these longer hours have a 33 percent increased risk of stroke when compared with people who work less than 40 hours per week, according to a large meta-analysis published by The Lancet, last month.
In addition to the finding above, the study of studies found that overworked people have a 13 percent greater risk of developing heart disease when compared with their peers who work fewer hours.
So, why are we working these extra hours? Who knows-because we have to, many may argue.
But a recent report published on nymag.com indicates that the majority of research in medicine, cognitive science, sleep and organizational psychology suggests in many, many ways that a shorter work week should be the norm, instead of a special treat that pops up only at holiday times.
Not only would a shorter work-week allow workers to be less irritable people, and thus easier for family, colleagues and friends to get along with, less time wrapped up in work allows individuals the time needed to relax and thus be able to sleep more easily, be less likely to pick fights and more likely to read other’s emotions correctly, and generally provide individuals with the ability to perform better in their jobs when they are at them.
Some people are onto this. Nymag.com indicates that a recent report from the non-profit, Families and Work Institute, discovered that 43 percent of a pool of 1,051 employers surveyed offered compressed workweeks to at least some of their employees.
Sounds like something new to our modern age, but negotiating for better working hours is something that has been going on for a long time.
The report on nymag.com comments how Sarah Green Carmichael pointed this out in a Harvard Business Review post.
“In the 19th century, when organized labor first compelled factory owners to limit workdays to 10 (and then eight) hours, management was surprised to discover that output actually increased — and that expensive mistakes and accidents decreased,” wrote Carmichael.
Carmichael notes that experiments have been done in more recent years. Researchers forced employees at a consulting firm in Boston to take a day off in the middle of the workweek, and after five months of this routine, the firm’s clients reported an improvement in service from the teams who took time off, compared with the clients of the teams who worked their usual 50-plus hours per week.
So, relax. Take this evidence to your boss and convince them that you are better off at home on Fridays-or Mondays.
Enjoy the holiday long weekend, and dream of a future when this is par-for-the-course. Happy Thanksgiving, Canadians!