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Introduction - My Story

Statistics

Research Reports

Sloan Work and Family Research Network, Boston College

  • Overwork FAQ and Factsheet Read Report
  • Flexible Work Schedules FAQ and Factsheet Read report
  • Telework FAQ and Factsheet Read report
  • Gen-X and Gen-Y FAQ and Factsheet Read Report
  • Workplace Flexibility and Health FAQ and Factsheet Read Report
  • Phased Retirement FAQ and Factsheet Read Report
  • Making Work “Work” – New Ideas from the Winners of the Alfred P. Sloan Awards Read Report

Families and Work Institute

  • Feeling Overworked—When Work Becomes Too Much Read Report
  • Overwork in America Annual Report Read Report
  • Dual-Centric – A New Concept of Work-Life Read Report
  • Workplace Flexibility for Entry-Level Employees Read Report

The Top 10 Stats To Know: You Are Not Alone

63% of all employees want to work less, up from 46% in 1992 [1].

26% of adult Americans report being on the verge of a serious nervous breakdown [2].

40% of workers describe their office environment as “most like a real-life survivor program [3].”

Only 14% of Americans take two weeks or more at a time for vacation [4]. The average American therefore spends more time in the bathroom than on vacation.

61% of Americans check email while on vacation [5].

53% of employees would opt for a personal assistant rather than personal trainer [6].

62% of workers routinely end the day with work-related neck pain, 44% report strained eyes, 38% complain of hand pain, and 34% report difficulty in sleeping due to work-related stress [7].

88% of employees say they have a hard time juggling work and life [8].

70% of working fathers and working mothers report they don’t have enough time for their children [9].

In 2005, a psychiatrist at King’s College in London administered IQ tests to three groups: the first did nothing but perform the IQ test, the second was distracted by e-mail and ringing phones, and the third was stoned on marijuana. Not surprisingly, the first group did better than the other two by an average of 10 points. The e-mailers, on the other hands, did worse than the stoners by an average of 6 points [10].

Unending Workweek Growth and Burnout

Compared to 1970, American managers are working an additional month per year [11].

Americans are working more hours than any time since the 1920s. 63% of Americans log more than 40 hours per week at the office, and 40% log more than 50 hours per week [12].

Turnover rates among mid-level associates in New York City law firms is 36%. The entire system is predicated on burnout [13].

62% of workers routinely end the day with work-related neck pain, 44% report strained eyes, 38% complain of hand pain, and 34% report difficulty in sleeping due to work-related stress [14].

In total hours, the average middle-income family works four months more than in 1979 [15].

People work approximately 8 weeks longer per year than in 1969—in the space of a single generation—but for roughly the same income (after adjusting for inflation) [16]

40% of employees work overtime or bring work home with them at least once a week [17].

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E-mail Addiction and Information Overload

66% of people read email seven days a week and expect to receive a response the same day [18].

61% continue to check email while on vacation [19].

56% have anxiety if they can't access email [20].

“Crackberry” was the official winner of the 2006 Word-of-the-Year as selected by the editorial staff of Webster's New World College Dictionary. Blackberry addiction has been labeled “similar to drugs” in a study performed by Rutgers University; millions of users are now able unable to go more than five minutes without checking e-mail.

According to online surveys of more than 4,000 people, conducted jointly by AOL and the Opinion Research Corporation and reported in 2005:

41% of Americans check e-mail first thing in the morning

  • 18% check e-mail right after dinner
  • 14% check e-mail right when they get home from work
  • 14% check e-mail right before they go to bed
  • 40% have checked their e-mail in the middle of the night

More than one in four (26%) say they can't go more than two to three days without checking email, and they check it everywhere:

  • In bed - 23%
  • In class - 12%
  • In business meetings - 8%
  • At the beach or pool - 6%
  • In the bathroom - 4%
  • While driving - 4%
  • In church - 1%

Being “e-mailed” (like blackmailed) worse than being stoned?

In 2005, a psychiatrist at King’s College in London administered IQ tests to three groups: the first did nothing but perform the IQ test, the second was distracted by e-mail and ringing phones, and the third was stoned on marijuana. Not surprisingly, the first group did better than the other two by an average of 10 points. The e-mailers, on the other hands, did worse than the stoners by an average of 6 points [21].

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The USA vs. the World

Average Annual Vacation Days

  • Italy 42
  • France 37
  • Germany 35
  • Brazil 34
  • Britain 28
  • Canada 26
  • Japan 25
  • USA 13

Is it any wonder that US Bureau of Labor Statistics tracks just about everything but worker satisfaction?

Americans work 137 more hours per year than Japanese workers, 260 more hours per year than British workers, and 499 more hours per year than French workers [22].

The Japanese document approximately 10,000 cases per year of "death by overwork," or karoosh [23]. Considering the above stats, what must the undocumented US numbers be??

The US is the only nation in the industrialized world with no minimum paid-leave laws. European law provides each worker with 4-5 weeks per year of paid-leave.

Nonetheless, Europe has had a higher productivity rate than the U.S. for 14 out of the 19 years between 1981 and 2000 [24]. More just isn’t better.

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The Coming Extinction of Vacation

26% of Americans take no vacations at all [25].

Only 14% of Americans take two weeks or more at a time for vacation [26]. The average American therefore spends more time in the bathroom than on vacation.

American workers get an average of 8.1 days of vacation after one year on the job, and 10.2 days after three years [27]. At that rate of growth (25.9%), you won’t even break three weeks after 12 years on the job.

Employees hand their companies more than $21 billion in unused vacation days each year [28].

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Work-Life Imbalance and the Disappearing Family

57% of the class of 1999 graduating business students in 11 countries said that attaining work-life balance is their top career goal [29].

32% percent of workers cited work-life balance as the top priority in their careers, followed by job security at 22% and competitive salary at 18% [30].

How are they actually doing?

88% of employees say they have a hard time juggling work and life [31].

70% of working fathers and working mothers report they don’t have enough time for their children [32].

64% of Americans report that time pressures on working families are getting worse, not better [33]..

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What Happens When Employees Work Whenever and Wherever They Want?

By the end of 2007, all 4,000 staffers at Best Buy headquarters will be on ROWE (Results-Only Work Environment), which permits them to work whenever and wherever they want. So, what happens when smart companies realize that work isn't a place where you go, but something that you do? That performance should be based on output and not hours?

Average Rise In Worker Productivity Since 2005: 35%

Average Change in Voluntary Turnover (Quitting) Across Divisions: -72.3% [34]

Sun Microsystems Inc. calculates that it saves $300 million per year in real estate costs by allowing nearly 50% of employees to work anywhere they want.

If your company won’t wake up, you’ll just have to speed the process by firing their asses or outsmarting them.

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[1] “Feeling Overworked: When Work Becomes Too Much,” The Families and Work Institute, 2001

[2] American Psychologist, 2000

[3] USAToday.com, Jan. 1, 2004

[4] The Families and Work Institute

[5] eRoi Email Addiction Survey, Oct. 17, 2006

[6] Circles, 2001

[7] Integra Survey, 2000

[8] Aon Consulting, 2000

[9] Family Matters Survey; The National Partnership for Women & Families, 1998

[10] “Can’t Get No Satisfaction,” New York Magazine, Dec. 4, 2006

[11] "Why Are We Eager To Work Longer Hours?" 2000, In JAP; Loyola University Chicago

[12] Expedia.com Customer Poll

[13] “Can’t Get No Satisfaction,” New York Magazine, Dec. 4, 2006

[14] Integra Survey, 2000

[15] “Washington to Nation: Drop Dead on the Job,” Alternet, June 20, 2003

[16] “Work, Stress, and Health,” National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health Conference, 1999

[17] “Shifts in Work and Home Life Boundaries,” Xylo Report, 2000

[18] eRoi Email Addiction Survey, Oct. 17, 2006

[19] eRoi Email Addiction Survey, Oct. 17, 2006

[20] eRoi Email Addiction Survey, Oct. 17, 2006

[21] “Can’t Get No Satisfaction,” New York Magazine, Dec. 4, 2006

[22] ILO Report

[23] “Washington to Nation: Drop Dead on the Job,” Alternet, June 20, 2003

[24] U.S. Federal Reserve Board

[25] Boston College Survey

[26] The Families and Work Institute

[27] The Bureau of Labor Statistics

[28] Expedia.com Survey Calculations

[29] Price Waterhouse Coopers Survey, 2000

[30] Office Team Specialized Administrative Staffing Survey, 2002

[31] Aon Consulting, 2000

[32] Family Matters Survey; The National Partnership for Women & Families, 1998

[33] The National Partnership for Women & Families Family Matters Survey, 1998

[34] "Smashing The Clock,” BusinessWeek, December 11, 2006

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