Human Resources



Employee indicating time to show 40 hour workweek is actually 47 hours long

The average 40-hour week actually seven hours longer

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Working from nine to five is fast becoming a myth. According to the 2014 Work and Education survey by Gallup, full-time employed adults in the United States work an average of 47 hours per week.

The survey, which polled 1,032 employees in total, found half of all full-time workers typically work more than 40 hours. Four in 10 of those stated they work at least 50 hours, while 18% put in a gruelling 60 hours a week, or more.

These figures translate into 12-hour days from Monday to Friday – or into shorter weekdays – with lots of time spent working on the weekends.

Only 8% of full-time employees claimed to work less than 40 hours.

The poll also found employees’ pay structure had an impact on their working hours.

“Hourly workers can be restricted in the amount they work by employers who don’t need or can’t afford to pay overtime,” the report stated. “By contrast, salaried workers generally don’t face this issue.”

Unsurprisingly, salaried employees indicated they worked five hours more per week, on average, than full-time hourly workers (49 vs. 44, respectively).

The survey indicated, however, workers logging long hours are not necessarily suffering.

According to Gallup workplace management scientists Jim Harter and Sangeeta Agrawal, certain workplace polices – including the number of hours worked – play a part in impacting employee well-being.

“Highly engaged workers who log well over 40 hours will still have better overall well-being than actively disengaged workers who clock out at 40 hours,” the report stated.

“In other words, hours worked matters, but it’s not all that matters.”

Image: Shutterstock

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