How many hours per week should we work? The norm in our part of the world if classified as full-time has been 40, 8 hours per day for 5 days. This standard has been around for a very long time but is it still appropriate? Some scientists have suggested changing the modern work week to 4 days because there is a cap on our productivity and, after we hit it, we lose the ability to do our job at its best. An Australian study by economic researchers , after factoring in quality of life, economic well-being, family structures and employment, have found that individuals that worked an average of 25 hours per week tended to perform the best. And the study suggests people over 40 should only work 3 days per week. France has a law called ‘The Right to Disconnect” which mandates that a company with 50 or more employees cannot email an employee after typical work hours. Businesses are required to establish “charters of good conduct” that specify the times when employees are completely free from being contacted by their workplace. Technology by way of smartphones has made it nearly impossible to escape emails, texts and calls 24/7. I call it the “you can run but you can’t hide” syndrome. If scientists and psychologists who study work are right, the Canadian ratio of hours of work to leisure time should change as we move further into the 21st century, but it would take a paradigm shift from both government and employers to make it happen.
That’s Coffeetalk. I’m Vic Dubois.