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LONG WORK HOURS ARE "THE LARGEST OF ANY OCCUPATIONAL RISK FACTOR CALCULATED TO DATE."

 

The title of this blog post comes from a report by the University of Chicago about the excess work time that Americans put in on the job.  An Op-Ed piece in the New York Times by Bryce Covert on July 25, 2021 contains information on this subject that is also readily available from other sources.  

  1.     Apparently Americans log in 7 to 19 percent more time on the job than their European peers.    
  2.     This year, the Spanish government announced a pilot program to entice corporations to try out a  four day workweek without reducing anyone's pay.
  3.     Last month, Japan released economic policy guidelines encouraging employers to do the same thing.
  4.     Iceland just published results from an experiment with a four-day workweek in Reykjavik that  ran from 2015 to 2019 and found that productivity didn't decline and in some cases improved. The reduced schedule showed "that we are not just machines that just work,"  one Icelandic participant said.  "We are persons with desires and private lives, families and hobbies."   Employees reported being less burnt out and healthier.
  5. Sweden has been doing similar experiments too test out the 4-day week.   
We have known for sometime that working too much is not good for us.  It is related to weight gain, more alcohol, tobacco and drug use, but also higher levels of injury, illness and  death,  Other studies show excess work hours correlate to greater amounts of heart disease.   

NPR (the USA's National Public Radio) reported back in 2015 some of the observations made during the great depression by the famed economist John Maynard Keynes,  He predicted 100 yers earlier that by 2030 (9 years from now) that we would only need to work something like 15 hours a week due too technological advances.  So much has changed in the last decade technologically that this Keynes observation may be right on target.  

Both pieces I have included effectively deal with the same issue.  Working too hard is not good for us.  Take a read and gain more insight into these important issues.

Bob Jacobson  7/28/2021

FURTHER READING

From time to time, I will come across sources or additional information about the above topic that you might find useful and worth reading.  

In this case, Iceland tried a shortened workweek and it was reported in Forbes Magazine.  The article on that subject is provided here. 

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