The Sweet Pursuit

Former Associate editor Margret Aldrich on the hunt for happiness, community, and how humans thrive

Add to My MSN

You Work Too Hard

6/21/2011 4:02:49 PM

Tags: work, community, family, stress, The Sweet Pursuit, Mother Jones, Margret Aldrich

Paperwork 

Work finds a way to slip under our front doors and into our personal lives. We check email while making dinner and return phone calls on the weekend; we think about our jobs as we’re falling asleep at night and when we’re washing our hair in the morning. It’s no secret that Americans are overworked. What’s surprising is how overworked we are—and how much corporations benefit from our around-the-clock labor.

According to a new report from the Economic Policy Institute, corporate profits are up 22 percent since 2007, report Monika Bauerlein and Clara Jeffery in Mother Jones, even as jobs are cut and American workers put in longer hours for static salaries. What were once manageable 40-hour-a-week appointments have morphed into “superjobs,” overladen with increased tasks when staff is downsized.  

Workers are left scrambling to get everything done at the office and at home, often ignoring spouses, skimping on family time, or avoiding community commitments—shortcomings that may feel like failures. But: “Guess what: It’s not you,” says Mother Jones.

These might seem like personal problems—and certainly, the pharmaceutical industry is happy to perpetuate that notion—but they’re really economic problems. Just counting work that’s on the books (never mind those 11 p.m. emails), Americans now put in an average of 122 more hours per year than Brits, and 378 hours (nearly 10 weeks!) more than Germans.

Take time to check out Mother Jones’ infographic collection “Overworked America: 12 Charts that Will Make Your Blood Boil.” And then, take a look at your calendar…aren’t you due for a day off?

To read more articles on work in America, see our January-February 2011 issue on the topic.  

Source: Mother Jones  

Image by luxomedia, licensed under Creative Commons.

 



Related Content

The Rich Get Meaner

It was reassuring, in the midst of Wisconsin’s labor strife, to see a poll showing that many America...

Are You Ready for the 21-hour Work Week?

A shorter work week could mean a longer life, so why aren't we fighting like hell for it?..

Blogging the Colombia-Ecuador Fracas

News of the diplomatic crisis unfolding in northern South America has been buried by an increasingly...

Thus Spake Dolly, Billy, Jeffy, and PJ

Dolly from the Family Circus knows, “Convictions are more dangerous foes of truth than lies.” And Je...

Content Tools




Post a comment below.

 



Pay Now & Save $5!
First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Want to gain a fresh perspective? Read stories that matter? Feel optimistic about the future? It's all here! Utne Reader offers provocative writing from diverse perspectives, insightful analysis of art and media, down-to-earth news and in-depth coverage of eye-opening issues that affect your life.

Save Even More Money By Paying NOW!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You save an additional $5 and get 4 issues of Utne Reader for only $31.00 (USA only).

Or Bill Me Later and pay just $36 for 4 issues of Utne Reader!