Ken Donaldson: Are You Working Too Much?
A while back, Tim Ferriss, author of The Four Hour Work Week (great book, by the way!), posted “The Top 10 Stats To Know: You Are Not Alone” on his blog.
I thought I’d share it with you, along with a few of my personal insights and comments.
1. 63% of all employees want to work less, up from 46% in 1992.
This does NOT mean that we’re getting lazier…at least not necessarily. It means that we need more time off…keep reading.
2. 26% of adult Americans report being on the verge of a serious nervous breakdown.
Are you kidding? No wonder Xanax sales are so high. Anyone think that maybe, just maybe, some good old-fashioned (or even new high tech) stress management might be beneficial?
3. 40% of workers describe their office environment as “most like a real-life survivor program.”
Great…people now get to be traumatized at work. Since this is the place we spend the most time at away from home, doesn’t it make sense that it should be a “user friendly” place?
4. Only 14% of Americans take two weeks or more at a time for vacation. The average American therefore spends more time in the bathroom than on vacation.
Great comparison, but it means we’re all becoming boring. Wikipedia reminds you, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy is a proverb. It means that without time off from work, a person becomes both bored and boring.” Yes, that would be us, here in the U.S.
5. 61% of Americans check email while on vacation.
Not a cardinal sin, but what would happen if we took a total break…totally vacated?
6. 53% of employees would opt for a personal assistant rather than personal trainer.
Amazing…our workloads are becoming so unmanageable that we would put that in front of our health. Yes, we are “heart attacks waiting to happen” as the saying goes.
7. 62% of workers routinely end the day with work-related neck pain, 44% report strained eyes, 38% complain of hand pain, and 34% report difficulty in sleeping due to work-related stress.
The body will speak to us in no uncertain terms. If something is wrong, bad or significantly out of balance, our body lets us know. The sad part is that most people don’t listen.
8. 88% of employees say they have a hard time juggling work and life.
Yes, this would almost be a “duh” comment, but when you combine it with all the other stats, it’s very unsettling.
9. 70% of working fathers and working mothers report they don’t have enough time for their children.
Not only does that disrupt the family system and quite possibly activate some “acting out” by the children, but it also creates a role model that will be created over and over in future generations until someone gets smart and insightful and changes their values and priorities.
10. In 2005, a psychiatrist at King’s College in London administered IQ tests to three groups: the first did nothing but perform the IQ test, the second was distracted by e-mail and ringing phones, and the third was stoned on marijuana. Not surprisingly, the first group did better than the other two by an average of 10 points. The e-mailers, on the other hand, did worse than the stoners by an average of 6 points.
Besides the giggle and smirk you get from reading this, understand too just how energy draining it is to be in that environment all day. Most people have no idea it is really affecting them.