On your employment contract it may state that you only have to work 40 hours per week but in fact, you are actually working for more than 40 hours.
The American dream which is sold to children and university students is to get a 40 hour per week 9 to 5 job, do your work then go home to enjoy a restful and enjoyable night with family or friends. Once you have done 30 years of hard graft, you will then be able to retire and enjoy your days doing what it is you are passionate about.
In the U.S the 40 hours per week is becoming a relic of past days and recent studies show that the average adult works more than 47 hours each week. The report also showed that 40% of labor worked over 50 hours.
One of the main attributes that have made the increase happen is on an employment based on a salary and not an hourly rate. When paid each month as salary workers are not entitled to overtime and are required to finish set tasks each week. Workers who are employed on an hourly rate average 44 hours while salaried workers average 49 hours each week.
In American culture, it is seen as a status symbol and is respected by others for working longer hours. Being highly in demand suggests you are influential and important to the company which feeds the ego but damages the health.
The internet and mobile phones have completely transformed the workplace with employee constantly in connection with their employers or team they are managing. In a recent study, it showed that workers on average spend up to 7 hours each day managing and checking emails. Even if half of that time is spent answering personal emails, it still equates to 15 hours each week on work related emails. This has added greatly to the amount of time that a worker puts in each week which they are not getting paid for.
In the U.S the labor has had it a lot worse than other countries with 58% of managers reported to be working in excess of 40 hours per week. Mexico is the only country that comes close to matching that total with 61% of workers working over 40 hours. In China, only 19% of management works in more than 40 hours in a week.
In a report by Daniel Cook, he proved how working 40 hours per week is the greatest to get the most out of productivity. It also showed that people who worked more hours than this their productivity dropped significantly.
Once a worker reaches a point of physical and mental fatigue, their productivity drops dramatically. Many workers believe that the harder they work the more they will achieve but that is simply not the case. You would be far better off getting rest at home so when you do work your productivity levels are at maximum.
In order to be successful, you do not have to completely mentally and physically drain yourself each week. It is easy to get caught up in the need to prove your worth to a company by working harder than everyone else. Success though is not about been the hardest worker it is all about working smart.