Are you working more now than you ever have?
Feel like you're always at work? Well, you're not alone.
A recent survey released by Towers Watson found that two thirds of Canadian and U.S. companies admit to asking their employees to work longer hours. And it's slowly killing them.
"In the short run, having employees work extra hours can increase productivity, but in the long run, extended hours can negatively affect employee well-being and retention," Towers Watson’s Laurie Bienstock told Benefits Canada.
Overall, 60% of Canadian respondents report that employees have been working more hours over the past three years, and just under half (47%) expect this trend to continue over the next three years.
Additionally, a quarter (25%) of the employers surveyed said their employees have been using less of their vacation or personal time off over the past three years.
"Employees at many organizations are already suffering from change fatigue. As a result, when the labour market does recover, companies can expect a sharp increase in voluntary turnover, especially if they do not address employee concerns, and deliver reward and talent management programs more effectively," Bienstock declares.
The study also found that almost half (48%) of Canadian organizations are concerned about the long-term effects of changes they made during the recession on their employees’ ability to maintain a healthy work/life balance.
Does that sound like anybody you know?
Have you been clocking more hours over the past few years? Do you see any signs of this letting up?
By Gordon Powers, MSN Money
Posted by: SP | Nov 9, 2021 2:41:42 PM
I had been clocking in 12 hours a day nearly 6 days a week when I finally decided that if I don't take retirement time now I would never have any time or health. Sold the house, bought a used car & now work 20 hours a week & spend time with my kids. Too many of my friends have worked themselves into an early grave (under 40 years old) to provide the babyboomers with a more comfortable retirement (my brother included).
Who are the major stock holders in these companies sending jobs overseas and asking today's workers to work more and more? Yup, babyboomers pension funds & babyboomers directly. The irony is that when they reach older old age the economy will be bust, the workforce will be destroyed and they will live out their oldest years destitute.
So, work longer hours, work yourself into an early grave, you can do what you like, but don't expect some bloated retiree sitting on a beach in Florida to look out for for your health or retirement for you.
Posted by: LB | Nov 11, 2021 1:10:49 AM
I've been working a lot of OT at my current company. The deadlines are unreasonable. I talked to my manager and he just told be to stay late or coming during the weekends.
Posted by: John Gaul | Nov 11, 2021 9:59:29 AM
I retired 8 years ago with a defined benefit pension. Even then workers were putting in more hours not because they loved doing it but because they were forced to by wage cuts or pressure from their management. So I was glad to leave this workforce and live on a much smaller but to date adequate income.
There is obviously something wrong with people working more for less. How can people support an economic system that demands so much more of average workers and yet provides so much less? Remember when: Defined Benefit Pensions were common; Most raises met or exceeded inflation, most people could afford to retire well before age 65; EI covered 80% of workers who needed it; the gap between the rich and the rest of us was not as wide; tax cuts were not seen as a cure all for everything and Canada had a future the included most Canadians.
The extra hours worked issue is a symptom of a system that has failed the vast majority of us. It is time to change that system and make the rich less rich.
Posted by: Gordy | Nov 11, 2021 11:31:04 AM
My work in Canada for a Indian company masquerading for an American company (bring over talent who easily get Visas, get American VC money, have all development and staff in India but sell to North America and Europe. This is the disaster of what's going on with North America.
Working for these guys who come from a caste system is a bloody nightmare.
Posted by: DR Setter | Nov 11, 2021 12:11:36 PM
While this is all true, the real story here has been missed. Inflation, the real story. Money isn't what it used to be. Back in the late 70's my first job, while still in high school paid me a whopping 5 bucks an hour. I didn't work much but my pay went far. Today, using the bank of Canada's inflation calculator to have the same buying power one would need a wage over 19 dollars per hour. How many high school kids have a part time job that pays that? Consider the interim, I gained decades of management experience, and a degree from a top ranked University. Two years ago I was offered a position as a Director and the starting offer was 24$ per hour. Back in the 70's there was no gst and as a University student I had few obligations. Now, there is health care, kids, mortgages, cars, and the list goes on. I know a few people that make 100,000 per year and are always broke and very much in debt. If you factor in all the extra time spent at work and divide your wage by the number of hours you really work, take tax freedom day into account (you work for the gov. for the first 6 months) then 100K becomes 50K (25$ per hour), but if you work 60 hours per week your real pay is just 16.70 per hour! To be comfortable today, not well off, just OK, a family of four needs an income of 150K per year, with benefits and no debt.
Posted by: Elmo | Nov 11, 2021 1:51:16 PM
LOL at some of these comments.
@ DRSetter How many high school kids have a part time job that pays $19. per hour. Assuming this "expectation" and the kid works 15 hours per week... that's $285. per week = $1150. per month. Please explain what a high school kid needs $1150. per month for, especially when theiir room and board is already paid for by their working parents. What's a 15-16-17 year old going to do with $1150.00 per month ? Jack up their cell phone/texting bills, buy some new gadgets, buy a new car ?
And if some of your friends making $100K per year are always broke and very much in debt... then they have an extreme lack of money management skills and should start working within a budget. That's the HUGE difference between the "older" generation and the new one. The baby boomers as they are called worked and lived within a budget, paid with cash and actually saved some money. The new me-me-me/now-now-now generation with over-their-head expectations live off credit cards and lack both self and financial control. They want huge TVs with 3,000 channels, the new electronic gadgets, a new car AND a house. Perish the thought they have to rent a 1 bedroom apartment or even co-share an apartment with a "friend" for 5-10 years. They want to start off at the top. Reality check... it doesn't work that way. You start off at a base salary (even $24./hour which = $48K per year) and work yourself up. It's called paying your dues and gaining tenure.
Posted by: TLLK | Nov 11, 2021 2:53:17 PM
This has not been my experience. My mom is a baby boomer and bought a house alone by herself at 19 years old in the early 70s and she only had a high school diploma and 1 year of secretary school and no help from her parents. I'm 32, bought my first condo (not a house) at 26 when I had a B.Comm in Finance. I have many friends, all of whom are university graduates making over $60K per year who don't own cars and are having trouble finding a decent condo within their budgets. I also have friends who are university educated and in their 30s who still live at home.
It doesn't surprise me that DR Setter knows people in debt that make $100K per year. If you want to raise a family in a house close to work (if you work in a major city), then you will be paying so much more than what the boomer generation did for a property. Many people refuse to spend over an hour each way in the car to get to and from work and I don't blame them. I would rather raise kids in a 3 bedroom condo close to work than a house more than 1.5 hours away from work by car.
Neither of my parents have a university degree and they were able to comfortably afford a house 15 minutes drive from downtown Montreal. This was not out of the norm for their generation. My husband and I just bought a house near my parents' house but we are both university educated with 10 and 8 years of work experience respectively. Most of our friends are buying off the island of Montreal or 1.5h drive in traffic away because they cannot afford homes closer although they are well educated with good jobs. This is the norm of today.
Posted by: binder dundat | Nov 11, 2021 3:38:54 PM
Yes, everyone is being overworked..the system needs a change but the only way that will happen is if the worker pushes back and that will have to come in large numbers.
Posted by: JC | Nov 11, 2021 4:05:18 PM
If you read DR Setter's comment you SHOULD be able to logically conclude that DR Setter is a babyboomer who is only pointing out how inflation has been used by those with assets and power to rob food from the mouths of those younger or weaker.
PS Historically & recently there is only one outcome from this form of madness.
Posted by: Elmo | Nov 11, 2021 6:49:12 PM
TLLK... obviously there are generalities both ways, however DRSetter didn't say he knows "families" that make 100K and are in debt over their heads... he said " a few people" which I take as individuals. Any individual making 100K... broke and very much in debt... is financially incompetent. I bought my 1st condo (like you, not a house) on a 42K gross salary. Albeit, I have never been lazy and have held many part-time jobs to supplement my main income when times got rough or if I wanted (needed) some new toys i.e. cars, etc. Property costs (be they condos or houses) certainly have risen... however, so have wages in the past 15-20 years. People should adjust to the fact that a roof over their heads should not be more than 35-40% of their gross income, otherwise they are delusional and just waiting for that roof to cave in. There's also a thing about a downpayment, be it on a dwelling or a car... anyone idiotic enough to finance the whole purchase are living in Oz. Bottom line: Live within your means... not your dreams. If you can't afford to pay it in cash... don't put it on credit !!
Posted by: Elmo | Nov 11, 2021 6:55:47 PM
@TLLK.... and kudos to you and your mom. It certainly proves that you have a sound grasp of and outllook on your finances. Pity many do not !! I'm certain that you and your mom bought what you could afford and what was within your financial means. That equity will grow and you may upgrade in the future... or have a very nice retirement nestegg. Which comes back to what I said... start at the bottom and work yourself up. All the best and good luck.
Posted by: Jack | Nov 11, 2021 11:34:39 PM
Yes, I have been working more hours then ever before. I'm not complaining because I love my work and I am making insane amounts of money. Life has never been better.
Posted by: The Hulk | Nov 14, 2021 5:28:32 PM
Sure.Work more hours.Pay more taxes.Why not work yourself to death to make the govt.richer.Helps pay for the ones that sit on their ass including the feds.I too,have known many people that busted their behinds doing massive amounts of O.T. weekends,late nights.Trouble is most of them are dead and were never able to spend the money anyway.Greedy lawyers,undeserving lazy relatives and the feds got the rest.Work the slaves so the Pharoahs live in style.Oh well,Guess we can't all be retired MP's for 6 years of service and $141,000.00 a year average pension for the rest of life. Have a nice day.
Posted by: Walking dead | Nov 14, 2021 5:45:01 PM
Life? what life? If you work for companies that expect more and more hours put in,when do you have time left for life? Get up,go to work,get home,eat,shower,got to bed,repeat all steps 6 or 7 days a week for 45 years.Let me know how that works for you,as it hasn't done crap for me.And then you can use your 2 weeks "Staycation" to catch up on all the things(chores) you didn't have time for all year.Did I miss anything here? Oh Yeah! A life!!
Posted by: Jack | Nov 18, 2021 10:24:34 PM
@Walking Dead, I have no idea what you are talking about. Yes, I work hard, and long hours, but the benefits I get are very much worth it. My "life" has never been so good. I choose where to work, and when to work. I can choose more hours or less hours. I DECIDE. I can also work at home, or anywhere in world. If I need to spend more time with my family, I do. My income is in the upper 3% of the top earners. But most important of all, I LOVE MY WORK! How many people can say that? I don't "get up, go to work, get home, shower, go to bed, etc". I get up, have breakfast, sit on my private beach for a few hours to relax and get ready for the day. I then go to my office (at home) and work. On average, I probably put more hours of work in than the average person, but I don't even notice it. I work for one of the largest companies in the world, yet they give me this freedom.