What Happened To The 40-Hour Week?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Turkish, Jul 12, 2007.

  1. Turkish macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2007
    #1
    I was just listening to some colleagues saying "yeah, I'll be here on Saturday for a while."

    It just intrigued me how many hours people work these days. In our office, most people get here at 7-8 a.m, and don't leave until 6, sometimes 7. At least one weekend day is usually worked, too. Lunches are usually eaten at the desk, and it's an unspoken thing that actually taking an hour out of the office for lunch isn't Kosher.

    What happened to M-F 9-5?

    Just seems like it's normal (at least here in the U.S.) for people to be at work 50+ hours a week these days.

    How did we ever get anything done in a 40-hour week before?

    What's your schedule like - and has it changed?
     
  2. iMeowbot macrumors G3

    iMeowbot

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    Aug 30, 2003
    #2
    Oh, that was back when companies used to hire enough people.
     
  3. QuarterSwede macrumors G3

    QuarterSwede

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    Oct 1, 2005
    Location:
    Colorado Springs, CO
    #3
    In Virginia even hourly folks get overtime every now and then. However, when I moved to Colorado state law is different and is very strict so I actually work a lot less (and consequently am a lot happier). I've been told to go home when I was in the middle of a project just because they didn't want to get fined ... plus my overtime is expensive for them.

    Salaried people have it worse unfortunately. You pretty much get the shaft. Laws are strict but they aren't enforced which is a bloody shame. There are a lot of work-a-holics in the country and family's are suffering as a result. It explains the state of our children these days (disrespectful, etc).
     
  4. Turkish thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jan 12, 2007
    #4
    You know I think that's a big part. And if you tell your employer that you can't do it all, you're not a good employee.

    The job I do used to be done by two people. Now I do it all by myself.
     
  5. barr08 macrumors 65816

    barr08

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    Boston, MA
  6. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
    #6
    Yep- same here, except I do the jobs of what used to be 6 people. I'm not kidding. Did I get their money, or even a substantial raise? Nope. I bet you didn't either.
     
  7. killerrobot macrumors 68020

    killerrobot

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    #7
    I love how CEO's make up to 40 times as much as the average paid worker in their company that has to put 50-60 hours in per week.

    As said, I think that spread could be shortened and more people could have a job and everyone could get back to 40 hour work weeks.

    But, I don't think that will ever happen in the US.

    All you need to do is watch Office Space to know how this really affects everyone.
     
  8. Turkish thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jan 12, 2007
    #8
    Nope, which is why I am almost convinced the hardships and BS of working for one's self may be worth it.
     
  9. QuarterSwede macrumors G3

    QuarterSwede

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    Oct 1, 2005
    Location:
    Colorado Springs, CO
    #9
    I guess I'm lucky. The company I work for understands how many people are actually and realistically needed to do a job. For me, I have two people right under me that do the majority of the complicated work and then a few others that are the lackeys. Gotta love delegation.
     
  10. tobefirst macrumors 68040

    tobefirst

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    Jan 24, 2005
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #10
    I work 8-4:30 Monday through Friday. This has been my schedule since I started at the current place 3 years ago. I'm salary, so I *could* work more if we ever needed it, but we never do, and if hours are needed outside of normal work hours, my boss allows me to come in late or leave early to balance out.

    Before that, I worked at a newspaper, where my hours were: Monday 10a-11p, Tuesday 10a-11p, Thursday 10a-2p, and Friday 10a-8p. I was hourly there, and their budget didn't allow for me to work any overtime.
     
  11. BoyBach macrumors 68040

    BoyBach

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    Feb 24, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    #11
    Because people are too scared to tell their employer where to stick it?

    Or, because the employee or management or both are not good enough to get their job done in a forty hour week?

    You decide?

    :D

    Attracting the Twentysomething Worker - Fortune Magazine
     
  12. Turkish thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2007
    #12
    Another problem.

    Where I work, they always try to hire "hungry new to the field" designers.

    We have a girl here who has been working 12-14 hour days for a couple of weeks to get a book out and we keep telling her to knock it off because the publisher has no real idea what reality is when it comes to getting this book done (how many people it takes).

    She wants to keep her job, so she keeps plugging along...
     
  13. BarryW macrumors member

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    Jan 21, 2007
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    South Africa, Jo'burg /U.A.E, Dubai
    #13
    My normal week days are 8-5:30, 30minute break Sunday to Thursday(Middle East Week). But currently doing a 12 hour 7 day a week, as I am offshore.

    My supervisor has told me not to come in on Saturdays, and not to work overtime. Some people prefer to work overtime as they can get an extra 30% of their salary.

    I think people have become more expensive to employ, so employees are trying to squeeze the most out of them, and people put up with it as they are scared of losing their jobs.
     
  14. zelmo macrumors 603

    zelmo

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    Mac since 7.5
    #14
    My hours are all over the place, but it is a rare week that I don't put in at least 55 hours.

    I think a lot has to do with the cost of benefits and insurance in the US. Employers have to find ways to get more done with fewer folks simply because they cannot afford to carry as many people due to the cost of health care, insurance, workman's comp insurance, unemployment fees, etc.

    Well, that and greed.;)
     
  15. BoyBach macrumors 68040

    BoyBach

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    UK
    #15

    How could I have forgotten?

    :p
     
  16. shecky Guest

    shecky

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    May 24, 2003
    Location:
    Obviously you're not a golfer.
    #16
    between my teaching and design work i definitely do far more than a 40 hour week. but i do not really think of it as a "work" week - i am engaged in my profession beyond strictly doing it to pay my bills, so a lot of it i really enjoy; especially teaching - i would do that for free.

    but overall i would say in a semester where i teach 3 classes i spend about 15 hours per week in classes and about 15-30 hours outside of class per class per semester developing the syllabus, lectures, materials and the course itself.

    i then spend an average of 30-50 hours a week working on graphic design work for clients; which is sometimes onsite contracts, and sometimes individual projects where i work in my own studio.
     
  17. 4God macrumors 68020

    4God

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    My Mac
    #17
    Well said.

    I used to work for a major home improvement store in the 90's (gave them 7 really good years of my life that I can't get back) and I would spend 50-70 hours a week there as a salesperson and as a manager before leaving the company.

    You would think that with all this new technology and the ability to get more done and quicker, we should be able to work less hours and still get the job done.
     
  18. Deefuzz macrumors 6502a

    Deefuzz

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    Jan 27, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #18
    We come in at 8:30 and leave at 5, with a half hour lunch at the desk. If we leave for lunch or take longer we are expected to stay past 5, but that is something that goes unsaid.

    I think it is as close to 9-5 as I will get.
     
  19. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    #19
    i typically work 55 hours a week for a good portion of the year. and 40-45 the rest of the year.

    management, benefits, and healthcare are all issues that screw this country over. imo. sure thats just generalizations. but there really is a lot wrong with this culture and mentality.
     
  20. tkidBOSTON macrumors 6502a

    tkidBOSTON

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    Aug 14, 2005
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    The Hub of the Universe
    #20
    Salaried public accountant:

    May- Sept: 40-50 hrs a week
    Oct- April: 65-90 hrs a week

    My record is a 92hr week. :(
     
  21. Aranince macrumors 65816

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    Apr 18, 2007
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    California
    #21
    The love of money is the root of all evil.
     
  22. nbs2 macrumors 68030

    nbs2

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    A geographical oddity
    #22
    That may be better than the alternative. I'm an attorney, I believe myself fairly capable, and I've never had a boss who didn't think that I wasn't incredibly quick on the uptake.

    But, I can't get a permanent job, so I'm working as a temp working 8-5 or 8:30-5:30 (one hour lunch) since no overtime is approved.

    As a paralegal.

    I make a little under half of what an attorney normally makes in the DC area.

    Why? Because everybody (other than the personal injury litgitagors) wants someone with 2-5 years fo experience. "Hungry, new to the field" means going hungry.
     
  23. sailnavy macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2003
    Location:
    NYC
    #23
    At least

    Well at least we've all achieved the paperless office.
     
  24. nbs2 macrumors 68030

    nbs2

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2004
    Location:
    A geographical oddity
    #24
    Says me with my 1500 pages a month of printing.;)

    And that doesn't include the roughly the same quanity I receive in paper faxes
     
  25. plinden macrumors 68040

    plinden

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2004
    #25
    Last August I took charge of an application from a contractor who was asked to leave, two weeks before a committed release date. I worked 12+ hour days for all 14 remaining days before release, fixed 150 of the reported bugs and it was just about good enough to make the release date.

    Then I worked 12+ hours 6 or 7 days a week for the next six months adding features we had committed to and fixing several hundred more bugs.

    I did make some nice bonuses (25% of my salary during the six months, and three days extra off at Christmas)

    Then I asked to change to a different team, where I come in at 8am and leave at 4pm (I got into the habit of not doing lunch), Monday to Friday, and get home in time to play with my two pre-school daughters before they go to bed, and spend a couple of hours a day with my wife.

    I'm unlikely to get any more 25% bonuses (I'm slightly behind with my current project, but only a couple of days) and no more extra days off ... but I don't care that much since the extra hours were much more than that. I calculated I would have made $45,000 more if I'd been paid for the hours I worked.

    Yes, I burned out.
     

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