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Are Work Hours Declining?

By John Connell ·
In today's Wall Street Journal there are some points about the labor market that I find particularly thought provoking for TechRepublic members.

The Labor Department reports that workers in ALL job categories are working less hours for the secondmonth in a row. The average workweek is a reported 34.1 hours.

An analyst at Merril Lynch claims in the article that the work input has not been this low since early 1992.

What do you all think about these figures? Most things I've read here on the site suggest that IT pros work far more than what is suggested in the WSJ article. I realize that these are national averages, but I take issue with the condition that this affected "all job categories."

Have you all noticed a decline in the IT workweek over the past couple of months? My guess is that IT is a segment that shouldn't be included in this trend. What's going on?

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You've got to be kidding!

by LukeM In reply to Are Work Hours Declining?

For me the work week has only gotten longer over the past three years. It's currently about 60 hours on average. How's everybody else doing?

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What hours are reported?

by motman In reply to You've got to be kidding!

If you are salaried and your company sends in 40 hours not the 60 you work the figues are wrong!

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Wish for a declining hours/more pay job

by marty.mccaghren In reply to You've got to be kidding!

I agree with Luke. My hours have always been at least 50+ hrs a week - and more. Of course, I have not gotten paid overtime since 1978. (Interesting how they work you more when you are 'salaried'.) Currently, I am in the 50-60 hour area, but have finally gotten a company to allow me to telecommute (even though it's just one day per week). It's also been my experience that customers/supervisors think (1) that you have to be 'on-site' all the time and (2) if you're not 'on-site' then you are'not working'. My current boss is one of those who is afraid that I'm somehow 'not doing 100%' because I work one day at home. He does not realize that I can do more in one telecommute day (2-3 times) than one work day because people do not botherme.
Another beef not mentioned in this article but in one by Tim Huckabee is how us 'gray-hairs' are being ignored, etc. It would behoove the current generation to listen to the experiences of us 'old fogies' on these issues.

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Keeping up with the times

by jstegall In reply to Wish for a declining hour ...

I am an IT instructor (yeah, those who "can't, teach" lol). Only an IT pro realizes how quickly technology changes and how much reading or other forms of research to learn is required. I keep stacks of books beside my bed for my "relaxing before bedtime routine." Somehow all this time is not calculated in the work time. How many of you have to pick up new skills just to keep up?

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Keeping Up

by Chacci2 In reply to Keeping up with the times

I am an IT consultant. I work 9-5 4 days/week keeping 1 day/week open to allow me to be able to keep up with technology. IMHO, I think any company that wants their employees to keep up with current technology so they can do their job to the fullest should not expect 5 day/week productivity. Of course, if you work at one of those country club businesses (you know who I'm talking about), the above does not apply because you probably aren't very production anyways.

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It's not the company necessarily

by LordInfidel In reply to Keeping Up

It's the workload. My company has never asked me upfront, hey we want you to work 7 days. Sadly enough it is our depts choice. We know that we get no O/T, but there are just things you can not do when there are users on your system.

Not to mention when you need to make massive changes to your web servers, you need to wait until the whole world is sleeping.

I would love to take a day off, but when you have a mission critical job, it's becomes a fantasy.

My employer actually tells us to take days off. But the sad truth is that we can't and when we try to we wind up coming back in because of an emergency. But this is the career we chose, we are well paid so we have no place to gripe.

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Amen

by c0mputer6uy In reply to It's not the company nece ...

I used to work in customer service, but switched to IT when the Network Admin possision open up. I got my MCSE in 6 months, (and no I didn't Braindump my way through it) and have saddled up to the job. It's not easy, but I'm constantly learning, problem solving and exploring new technology. I have no problem with the hours I work, because I enjoy it, and I stay productive during business hours, and cram as much as I can into the day. I learned how to multitask during my Customer service days. Believe me their pace is worse than ours. It's simple if love what you do it's not work.

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Any expectation beyond 40 hrs is reason

by circlea3 In reply to It's not the company nece ...

I have been working as a Engineer/Adminstrator for just under 12 years.

My employer pays me to do a job, fundemantally that makes them my customer. They should expect good customer service from me in the form of, dedication, high productivity, etc. However, they don't have any right to expect indentured servitude. Who determines where that line is drawn? I do.

Unless a person is bound by contract, salaries are based on a 40 hour work week. An employer pays a salary to a person based on their skills, experience, ability, education, etc.

We are paid varying salaries based on varying traits, & a constant 40 hour work week. The more hours you work the worse your salary becomes.

My employer hired me to do a job. Nothing more and nothing less. Only, by my own choice do I give them more then they pay me for - a 40 hour week - regardless of salary. If I am expected, cajoled, and/or coerced to work anything more I have every reason to "gripe," as does everyone else.

Just because a person chooses IT as their career doesn't mean they should expect to work longer hours. I work under the guidlines of "mission first." If that means working hours on end until completion, so be it. However, the extra time of mine that my company did not pay for (in excess of 40hrs.) is a loan to the company. I adjust my schedule, to get it back.

If I went to my company and asked for time off, when I didn't have it coming to me I would get one of two answers; No, or, Yes, without pay. So, as long as they aren't giving out freebies, I'm not either.

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I agree, somewhat.

by kstair In reply to It's not the company nece ...

I agree that the company doesn't require us to work. I've also found that sometimes I end up working more just because I think I am more indisposable than I really am. I work for a hospital and my staff has dwindled to almost nothing with one on maternity leave and the other only a part timer. We have 5 servers and over 300 PCs to maintain, hardware and software. I've gotten myself to the point now where I work my 8 hours and go home. The only time I work over is when it is a REAL EMERGENCY (ie server crash). I figure if the employer doesn't care enough about IT to give me the help I need, why should I?

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Management Responsibility

by Wayne M. In reply to I agree, somewhat.

You are correct. Hiring and scheduling are management's responsibility. It is not your responsibility to resolve understaffing issues. Get the most important things done in 8 hours, go home, relax, and come back to do your best the next day.

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