All Work and No Play

Back in high school, I interned for a summer at my mom’s office in Dallas, Texas. I overheard one of her co-workers lecturing his subordinates about how “this is a 24-hour job” and they need to be available at all times.

I thought the guy was a real jerk, but it turns out he’s the new norm.

In a survey by Harris Poll, on behalf of CareerBuilder, 1,000 workers were surveyed about their tendencies to work longer than traditional work hours. And, no surprise to many of you, 63 percent of those polled think that the 9-to-5 job “is an outdated concept, and a significant number have a hard time leaving the office mentally.” Fifty percent of workers indicated checking work emails away from the office. In addition to this, 38 percent continue to work after hours.

“Workers want more flexibility in their schedules, and with improvements in technology that enable employees to check in at any time, from anywhere, it makes sense to allow employees to work outside the traditional nine-to-five schedule,” said Rosemary Haefner, CareerBuilder’s chief human resources officer.

Of course it does! Being able to leave the office to run a few errands, while making up for lost time later, is a valuable commodity.

However, it’s taking away from workers’ time with family. Twenty-four percent said they check work email during times set aside for friends or family, leading to 17 percent saying “they have a tough time enjoying leisure activities because they are thinking about work.”

Although these high rates of after-hours working are high, 62 percent indicated they feel it’s their choice to continue work. People are choosing to think about work all day, thus taking time away from family and building lasting relationships? I find that hard to believe.

 What do you think of after-hours work, and what are the solutions to bringing back an enjoyable time with family? Tell me in the comments.