Anyone who works in public relations, media or a related field knows this already: workweeks are longer than 40 hours. According to a recent study, this is true for many Americans. See story referenced below.
ABOVE AND BEYOND
Workweeks spill way over 40 hours
Flexible schedules and technological breakthroughs have pushed the idea of a ‘regular’ job into the evenings and weekends
— reported by the Houston Chronicle
Baxter Strategies recently found that 13 percent of all full-timers in the United States regularly work more than five days a week. Almost 4 percent of full-time workers put in seven-day weeks, the marketing research firm found in its survey this year of more than 2,500 full-time employees.
“The 37.5-hour week is more of a minimum baseline these days,” said John Sweeney, an information specialist with the Society for Human Resource Management who was not surprised by the survey’s findings. “There is an expectation by many employers that you will give 5 to 10 percent above that to get the job done and to get ahead.”
Working more and varied hours is being driven in part by technological breakthroughs, Sweeney said. Another factor is flexible work arrangements that allow people to attend their child’s afternoon softball game or scoot out early to make a dentist’s appointment.
“For a lot of people, the workweek doesn’t close until they’ve caught up on unanswered e-mails on Saturday,” Sweeney said.
The society sees the trend of evening and weekend hours playing out primarily with managers and other salaried workers who aren’t eligible for overtime pay.
“In general, most businesses today are challenged to produce more efficiently with reduced overhead, and that involves putting in extra hours,” Gatto said. “The competitive work force is here to stay. To differentiate yourself from others, you have to put in extra effort, especially to wind up with a better level of service to your customers.”
Competitive work force. Competition is probably why 50-60 hour weeks have been a standard amongst my friends for years now. We’re all in highly competitive fields. And, thanks to technological advances, PR is going to continue to become more competitive, not less.