Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Australians: Shorter Working Hours May Bring Happiness

Beneficiaries of a shorter work week. From molly in oz.
Hey, it's more news about jobs and stuff. The Sydney Morning Herald reports that four out of five Australians want different hours at work. The survey covered 1,786 people, with 80% of full-time employees wanting fewer hours, while 60% of part-time employees want more.

The results are so striking that many are considering a government-mandated 30- to 35-hour cap on the work week. Adam Bandt of the Greens party says, "People who want to work less should have a right to do so...It's time for government to start ensuring a fairer spread of working hours, so those who want to work more can, and that those who don't, don't have to."

Some businesses disagree with this, saying that a government mandate would act as a "straight jacket." On the other hand, as I've said time and time again, happy employees are more productive and ultimately lead to more profitable companies, so if shorter hours lead to happiness, that would in fact be good for business. As Richard Denniss, executive director of The Australia Institute, says, "Having happy, productive, retained workers is far more important for the productivity of the country…than short-term attempts to keep wages bills down by relying on lots of unpaid overtime, burning out your employees."

So what do you Internet people think? What are the working hours in your country and are you happy with them? I personally think Americans put too much focus on work, so a shorter work week might be good for this country, but maybe that's just me.


  1. 40 hour work week here in Russia - 5 days a week, 8 hours a day for your usual office worker. I think I am generally okay with them, I know that working more or less is not going to change anything for me personally... I'd say it's teh work you do that matters. You either like it or you don't, you either do something that makes you happy and get paid for it or you do something just so that you get paid. I'm sure you know what I mean!

  2. Yes, 40 hours seems pretty standard, and the type of job you have probably makes the biggest difference of all!