Saturday, March 18, 2017

The Cost of "Busyness".

If you have a few minutes, read this article about the working hours of America compared to other countries. I found it to be interesting and informative without being thrown too many numbers and percentages in my face. And I couldn't help but compare what the author was saying about the work culture in our country to our industry, and boy, did it raise some scary questions for me.

But if you don't have the time (and according to the article, you probably don't), you can read my Cliffnotes version of it!

- It's illegal in France to send work emails after working hours. (WE NEED THAT LAW HERE!!!)
- My warzone of an apartment was probably considered fine 55 years ago. Apparently technology just creates a higher standard of things, thus creating more work and stress. ...Kind of like how this "digital" thing was supposed to make everything easier and/or cheaper, but kind of doesn't and just creates a different kind of work.
- We're missing out on 12 paid vacation days a year. And apparently, 12 is considered too little.
- Long hours leads to being less productive, which leads to long hours... which leads to being less productive... and the cycle continues. So if the study was based on the average American work week of 33.6 hours, then what the hell does it mean for our industry when 65 hours a week is the norm? Can we be more productive with less hours?
- And if all this stress is making the average person sick, how much worse is it for us?
- I'm moving to Luxembourg... Or Denmark. Or at the very least, France.


Unknown said...

And we ought to think that the American Industry is the El Dorado... here in Portugal it's typical to work 12 hours a day. Extra-time generally only comes in advertising jobs, there's no contracts, no union and the list goes on. Not to talk about television.

I know very little about our line of work in America, but always thought that being unionised made up for fine working conditions.

Anonymous said...

This might sound a bit dramatic, but all that sleep deprivation takes years off of your life expectancy. I quit working four years ago because I want to live a bit longer. Several of my brothers have actually worked themselves to death, the most recent one being a day ago when my friend had a massive heart attack while mixing live sound for a jazz band. I'm about to turn 57, and I'm already sick of memorial services. I went to one last week, and there is another one this coming Friday.
No matter how much you love the business, find your way out to a healthier position. Just my two cents.


A.J. said...

Joao - Unfortunately, not everyone who works in the industry here is in a union. And being in a union only grants us things like pension and health insurance (if you qualify for it) which are more easily accessible in other countries. Plus, it doesn't really speak for the quality of life, which Anonymous touches on in the comment below yours.

Anonymous - I'm sorry to hear about your friend. Though I will admit the thought has crossed my mind once or twice, I can't say I can think of anything else I could pursue as a career that I'd love as much as this.

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