Why some Americans work so hard, and who are the “extreme workers” - ForumDaily
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Why do some Americans work so much, and who are the “extreme workers”?

A fifth of US residents work 60 and more than hours per week. They say not because of money.

One day, my husband and I met his friend in the store, whom they had not seen for five years. The first thing he reported about his life was the number of hours he worked last week. However, there is nothing particularly surprising: when there are 60, or even 100, working hours, there is simply no room left for anything else in life.

According to the Gallup Institute, on average, Americans work 47 hours per week. However, this data applies only to those who work full time. If we consider those who work half a day and seasonal workers, then the average American's working day will average 34,4 hours, which is more than in France or Germany, but less than in 15 countries, including all the Baltic States, Greece and Mexico.

A fifth of US residents work 60 and more than hours per week

At the same time, 18% of Americans, almost a fifth of the country's population, gives 60 more than a week to work. Who are these people and why do they do it? Among them are a lot of small business owners, workers in the field of medicine, catering, law and finance. However, “Stakhanovites” can be found everywhere, including the federal government.

My former neighbor's husband, Sharon, is a resident. He works 80 hours a week, XNUMX hours a day, with one day off. Vacation - two weeks a year and a couple of national holidays. And this is not the limit. The position of "resident", which roughly corresponds to the Ukrainian intern, means "resident". Historically, residents lived directly in the hospital and were available at any time of the day or night.

Another friend of mine, Daria, works as a financial consultant in a large American company. For her, a 40-hour work week is a lull. When she's working on a project, the work can take up a full 90 hours a week, including weekends.

Researchers Silvia Gyulet and Carolyn Buck Luce conducted a broad study of the so-called "extreme workers", the results of which were shared on the pages Harvard Business Review.

They identified “extreme workers” as those who not only work 60 and more hours a week, but also perform responsible work and earn a lot.

One of them, Sudgir, works in a large commercial bank in New York, sometimes on 120 hours per week. He can afford to spend just 48 hours per week for sleeping, eating, and shower. But it suits him. Sudgir is an immigrant from India who is just 23 of the year. And he earns more than 94% of US residents.

And, as Gyulet and Luce found out, the majority of extreme workers (66%) love their job, devoting all their thoughts and strength to it. Even those who are married and have children get more positive emotions and inspiration at work. Often relatives see them only on weekends. Few of them feel like a victim. Two-thirds of them say that the conditions under which much is required of you, but also much is given, suit their personality type.

Happy and not so extreme

High salary is not the most important factor of work pleasure. In men, he is only in third place - challenges and adrenaline, as well as ingenious colleagues, they value much more. In the list of women's priorities, money is very low. Most of all in such work they are attracted by the fact that one can achieve real change, influence important processes and be a world-class player.

However, not all are delighted. Many of the "extremes" believe that it harms their health, does not leave time for meaningful relationships with children, spoils relations with the second half and does not even give the opportunity to have a normal sex life.

Women, who make up 20% of “extreme” workers, are among the least satisfied. Mainly due to the negative impact of their employment on children.

Фото: Depositphotos

Extreme working culture, the researchers conclude, gives an advantage in the short term, but it is costly in a long time - both to the “extremals” and to the companies.

At the same time, working hours and workload per employee continue to grow. Even the participants in this study said that even 5 years ago, they did not work so violently. Why is this happening?

Five reasons for incredible employment

The researchers give the following reasons why in recent years workers have had to give it their all.

At first, due to mergers and outsourcing, competition is increasing. There are fewer positions, competition for each job is growing, and there are more responsibilities for each employee. In addition, medical insurance and other benefits in the United States are provided by the employer, and the law in many cases allows not to pay for overtime work. Consequently, each company employee is very expensive - it is better for one to pay a lot than to hire a few for a lower salary. They also cut secretaries - a person can earn millions, but he will still make travel reports himself.

Secondly, the so-called extreme ethics are thriving in the United States. Squeezing the last juice out of yourself, taking risks and showing what you are really capable of - all this is constantly promoted in popular culture. Top bankers and top managers compare themselves to participants in ultra-marathons and Iron Man competitions.

ThirdlyA new level of communication makes workers available to customers at any time of the day or night.

Фото: Depositphotos

Fourthly, professionals of the highest class, as a rule, are surrounded by the same talented employees. Spending time with them becomes more interesting than with childhood friends or even with the second half.

Fifthly, globalization forces leading campaigns to be open 24 hours a day. When you have customers in Delhi and in Bogota, it’s hard to stay within the 8-hour working day.

Favorite writer Donald Trump - also for "extreme ethics"

You can also add, already in a broader time dimension, the Protestant ethic, according to which labor is one of the highest values. Here is the story of a native of St. Petersburg, and later - a resident of the Crimea Alice Rosenbaum.

In 1925, she managed to leave the Soviet Union, where her family had lost their family pharmacies and nearly died of starvation. In the USA, the girl married a Hollywood actor and, under the pseudonym Ayn Rand, published several books that preach her philosophical concept of “objectivism” - the opposite of Bolshevism and collectivism, which she hated. Her books made a huge impression on Americans. Rand can be called one of the pillars of conservative ideology in the United States.

I diligently read her book “Atlas Shrugged,” 800 pages long. In my opinion, this philosophy can be maintained until you have a baby or get sick. The author was accused of glorifying selfishness, and all her positive heroes, like herself in real life, did not have children and worked very hard. Complete dedication, according to objectivism, is the main goal and value of human life. And you don’t need to share your earnings with anyone.

Incidentally, in The Washington Post They wrote that Ayn Rand was the favorite writer of Donald Trump, Rex Tillerson and several other members of the administration of the new US president.

Not only bankers and lawyers work hard

But not only highly paid professionals work a lot. Writer Barbara Ereinrech, as an experiment in writing a book in her own skin, experienced the lives of unskilled laborers. To pay for housing and food, she writes, it is necessary to work two jobs or overtime on one and in no case be ill, do not break cars, do not have children, and do not get into any trouble. Today in the US, the labor market is changing for sure, which has enormous implications for both family and political life in the United States. But more about that another time.

The original column is published on the website of the Ukrainian Service.VOA", translation - New time. Reprinted with permission of the author and publication.

ForumDaily is not responsible for the content of blogs and may not share the views of the author. If you want to become the author of the column, send your materials to [email protected]

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