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Are you one of the "overworked" people?

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
This is an interesting study http://www.citynews.ca/news/news_11832.aspx

Do you think that too many people are being overworked by their companies or do you think it is a voluntary choice?
post #2 of 25
I am definately not overworked. Lee on the otherhand works for the same company as me and works a heck of a lot more and harder than me.
post #3 of 25
Before my boss's boss was removed from her position, I would get email from my boss at 1-2-3 in the morning. I had so much anxiety from those emails that I stopped checking my email after 5p.m. and not before 8 a.m. I've been on antidepressants for over a year now, but that made me consider anti anxiety meds on top of that.

Now things are better. I work later with less anxiety and am happier for it.
post #4 of 25
I think its a combination of both. Many people around here are paranoid about losing their jobs so they'll overwork themselves rather than get laid off.

On the other hand though the employers are also to blame since they can't find the money (but can still receive X thousands of dollars at the year end) to hire staff.

My last job I was overworked...I had one boss that found me to be a reliable employee and while that may be good, he also went crazy on it. I remember there was one time I asked for a day off and he said "I don't know if I can let you have a day off". I was floored...I told him that he can find his answer on at the Bureau of Labor.
Thankfully he left the company.

Here's I'm not overworked. Actually I'm underworked (can you tell?? I'm on TCS more!)
post #5 of 25
Well... I think this might come down to a matter of semantics for me. I'll only put in about 42 hours of "clocked" time, but because I work from home I end up answering a lot of phone calls off the clock.... like I'm really taking an hour off to make myself lunch, but I'll answer a quick phone call while I'm doing it and I wouldn't be clocked in for that.

The downside to this is that you're always 'at the office'. While I may not work 8 hours solid, there are times when I'll work 2-3 hours starting at 5 am, take some large breaks in the middle, and end my day with 2-3 hours from 10pm until midnight or 1am. So I may not be working more hours, but I feel like I am since my day will last 19 hours.

But if I had to say whether or not I was overworked, I don't think I would do it based on the number of hours worked. Instead, I would base it on what I was expected to complete in those same hours. My job history is interesting in that no matter what I was hired to do, by the time I leave the company I am doing my job plus that of 1 or 2 other people.... so instead of hiring 3 people, they just have me and want all of these jobs done within a standard 8 hours. In a previous job I was hired to do licensing... by the end of it I was their licensing person, their compliance person, their intranet person, and their vb.net programmer... all in one 8 hour shift. So was I overworked? You bet! But I wasn't putting in 50 hours.

Does this all make sense? I don't feel like I explained that well....

EDIT: Sorry... I forgot my 'ending' to this.

So to answer your question, I do think it's partially both. Companies are more than willing to dump extra tasks into my lap.... but I am 'willing' to take them on because I have been told if I don't I should look for another job.... and due to my current industry, that's not really possible. Then again, I have also been told that I "can't" take a vacation day because there is no one else here who does what I do. Sure I really can take a vacation day no matter what they say... but it's almost more of a hassle than it's worth to find coverage for me.
post #6 of 25
I also think that people tend to feel more "overworked" possibly because of payrate.

If you're paid the average, you feel you do average amount. If you're underpaid, and do the same as someone that is paid average or more than average, then you tend to feel overworked too.
post #7 of 25
I have worked in IT for 28 years. The amount of work they impose on you has risen sharply since the time that offshoring has become common practice. Everyone in the field fundamentally understands that if you don't produce a lot of work quickly, your job will be gone tomorrow.

I ride the roller coaster of overtime. There are weeks that I'll put in 60-70 hours then when things calm down, I'll work half that without guilt. I'm salary and never see overtime pay.
post #8 of 25
We got a notice Wednesday that we have 5 hours a week mandatory overtime. I don't really mind, though, because we get time and a half plus 4 dollars an hour. I love my job, even though it is a little stressful sometimes. That is nothing compared to the stress of being broke all the time.
post #9 of 25
I'm definitely overworked. The company I work for was downsized about 4 years ago, and they expected the same amount of work every day with less people. And since then it's gotten worse, they keep constantly increasing the work load.
post #10 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by krazy kat2 View Post
That is nothing compared to the stress of being broke all the time.
I agree

I feel overworked and stressed all the time- the place I work at is considering industrial action over our (non-existant) pay rise which has just added to the stress
post #11 of 25
I'm not overworked. As a full time regular with the USPS I have the option to put my name on the 'overtime desired' list. If I don't want the OT and only want to put in a 40 hour week I take my name off of the list (the sign up list is signed quarterly, every three months, but you can take your name off at any time).

I love my overtime.
post #12 of 25
Overworked? What's that?

Sorry, I'm asian, so I don't understand what's wrong with working 60-70 hours a week

If you're skilled and have a degree(s), there's no reason for you to just accept a low pay or be treated unethically, and then tremble in your pants because you might be laid off. If it degenerates to that, just find a better job.
post #13 of 25
Thread Starter 
It seems to me that companies are expecting less people to do more work now days without proper renumeration.
post #14 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemur 6 View Post
Overworked? What's that?

Sorry, I'm asian, so I don't understand what's wrong with working 60-70 hours a week

If you're skilled and have a degree(s), there's no reason for you to just accept a low pay or be treated unethically, and then tremble in your pants because you might be laid off. If it degenerates to that, just find a better job.
wai- what?! So what if you're skilled without a degree? Then you just accept to be treated unethically?! Or what if you have a degree but no skill? So then you just accept low pay?

Sorry, but I have a degree and I am skilled...I've been in the IT setting for over 7 years nows. My last job could not make their numbers to replace the people that quit (or got fired). So the ones that were left had to take on the additional responsibilities WITH A SMILE or else you were threatened with the line "Well we may need to be laying people off soon..." It took me 1 1/2 years to find this job...that is because over 500 people applied per job in IT here. That's up since 2002 when I graduated...it was 300 applicants back then.

Michigan's economy is far from booming right now as it is in other parts of the country. In this state it doesn't matter if you have a degree or not...you can get laid off at any time.
post #15 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by lunasmom View Post
wai- what?! So what if you're skilled without a degree? Then you just accept to be treated unethically?! Or what if you have a degree but no skill? So then you just accept low pay?

Sorry, but I have a degree and I am skilled...I've been in the IT setting for over 7 years nows. My last job could not make their numbers to replace the people that quit (or got fired). So the ones that were left had to take on the additional responsibilities WITH A SMILE or else you were threatened with the line "Well we may need to be laying people off soon..." It took me 1 1/2 years to find this job...that is because over 500 people applied per job in IT here. That's up since 2002 when I graduated...it was 300 applicants back then.

Michigan's economy is far from booming right now as it is in other parts of the country. In this state it doesn't matter if you have a degree or not...you can get laid off at any time.
If you have a degree and no skills, then you'd better start learning some because you're as good as any other chum that's fresh out of college. Just because you have a degree means nothing, and in company eyes it means they need to spend money to train you, aka a loss for them.

If you're skilled without a degree, then perhaps you should work on getting one. A degree is basically a standardized way of stating your base achievements and abilities. You can be wildly skilled, but not having a degree raises eyebrows (what's keeping you?).

If your biggest fear is being laid off, then the trick is to become an integral part of the company or group you work for. If they are dumb enough to lay you off, then they will fall apart. There are numerous ways to do this. Being the workhorse/backbone of the company is one, but involves a lot of stress. Another is keeping others in the dark about what you actually do, so that no one else can replace you (i.e. make your programs purposefully complex and convoluted, or your files organized in a fashion only you can understand), and IF they lay you off they'll be blown back into the stone age. There are other more ethical, and devious ways, but if you can attain that core functional position, you're pretty safe (unless your boss is dumb, in which case you have the pleasure of watching him suffer, or even better, grovel to you to come back into the group).

I used to work in Michigan, horrible place to work, get out of there. I moved to Ohio ( GASP! Traitor! yeah I know), and my salary literally doubled and people are much more ethical here in the work environment. Funny thing is, I'm still not satisfied, so I'll be on the move again here shortly.
post #16 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemur 6 View Post
Overworked? What's that?

Sorry, I'm asian, so I don't understand what's wrong with working 60-70 hours a week

If you're skilled and have a degree(s), there's no reason for you to just accept a low pay or be treated unethically, and then tremble in your pants because you might be laid off. If it degenerates to that, just find a better job.
I know you must not have meant this post the way I am seeing it so I will go with that. Culture/ethnicity has nothing to do with long work weeks. Women have been working full-time and overtime for years without proper pay.

My working poor/working class family has always worked hard. Usually two jobs. I am just finishing my bachelors at the age of 42 and yes, I worked the entire time. My sister is completing her Masters, she is 29. We will be the first in our family to receive degrees.

Your post makes it sound so easy. As though if people don't have an education, they must not really want it. Don't have skills? Well go get them. Wouldn't it be great if we didn't have to worry about shelter, food, clothing and children if we have them? Working two jobs to feed a family? There must be some time in there they could go to school. They really don't need to sleep.

I'm still shaking my head. I cannot believe someone would post this.
post #17 of 25
i work 50 hours a week, along with doing stuff for my coffee shops over seas,
i have not had real time away from work in 2 years, so yes
post #18 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemur 6 View Post
If your biggest fear is being laid off, then the trick is to become an integral part of the company or group you work for. If they are dumb enough to lay you off, then they will fall apart. .

after working in IT for 12 years, there is no such thing.
There is not one person that they company cant do without.
i have seen at least 5 people who walked around saying they where to important to be let, go, or others that said, oh the boss is my friend he would never let me go.
they all got walked out.
post #19 of 25
During the school year I feel over worked between taking a maximum course load and working and my family...it's gets a little crazy to say the least.

Now, I only work 2 nights a week with at risk youth in the core area of my city and I get my work out at the same time because I get to play sports, mainly floor hockey against 12-18 year old boys (and some girls) for a few hours a night.

I'm starting a full time position in a week and I have to do all of the programming for the summer months for ages 2 and up for my playground centre. I have a variety of duties. I will definately be putting more time in than just the time I spend at the center due to all the planning and prep time I'll need.


As for teaching, teachers are definately overworked and don't get paid enough. We go on salary and only get 5-10 percent prep time. Uhhh for a new starting out teacher like myself, it takes me a LONG time to do unit plans and lesson plans ect for a whole year, which must be completed before ever stepping into the classroom in September, which is not paid for.

While I was student teaching, I got to school at 8:15 am for prep, school started promply at 9:00 am. Supervision during the recesses, had to do prep work through lunch, and stayed until 6pm every night to plan and get organized, went home, ate, then spent anywhere from 2 to 4 hours at home prepping and planning for the coming days. I didn't even have to do any extra curriculars, but teachers here have to do atleast one extra curricular on top of everything else.


I can see why the burn out rate is typically before the 5th year.
post #20 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemur 6 View Post
If your biggest fear is being laid off, then the trick is to become an integral part of the company or group you work for. If they are dumb enough to lay you off, then they will fall apart.
I used to work in Michigan, horrible place to work, get out of there. I moved to Ohio ( GASP! Traitor! yeah I know), and my salary literally doubled and people are much more ethical here in the work environment. Funny thing is, I'm still not satisfied, so I'll be on the move again here shortly.
I think the trick to keeping your job is politics..granted that's a people skill, but you don't need a degree to learn how to talk to people. Again the last place I worked at laid off the Accounting Manager. She had her bachelor's and experience, but she was also rude and initimidating. She treated the sales reps like little children (because in her mind they acted that way). She was key in doing the accounting for the entire district. When she was laid off, the offices wound up doing their own work).
post #21 of 25
I work the typical 40 hour week - so, no, I'm not overworked. When I was in the restaurant/bar business (for 19 years) I was soooooooo overworked. I strongly believe that time is much more important than money and treasure every second I can spend at home with my husband and our cats.
post #22 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bonnie1965 View Post
Culture/ethnicity has nothing to do with long work weeks.
Ahem, culture has a ton to do with work ethics and work culture. What is considered normal for me having worked in Asia is considered torture by most of my colleagues here in there US. Crashing just a few hours a day at the work place in a sleeping bag you brought from home and subsisting off of instant foods for a week straight will certainly give you many concerned looks here in the US, but is considered fairly normal in Japan for example.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bonnie1965 View Post
Your post makes it sound so easy.
Sorry about the confusion, but I was mainly referring to younger people who are single. For them, it IS easy. Having a family to support will definitely restrict your freedom in terms of a career, but what I've said still partially applies. Even if your family duties completely restrict your career, I do see and hear of many people who've raised a family, sent their children off, and then get a degree, go through a complete career change and become very successful. It still confuses me though why you can't go and find a higher paying job rather than settling for two lower paying jobs. What's stopping you if you have a degree and have the skills?

Quote:
Originally Posted by theimp98 View Post
There is not one person that they company cant do without.
i have seen at least 5 people who walked around saying they where to important to be let, go, or others that said, oh the boss is my friend he would never let me go.
they all got walked out.
I think you misunderstood. You can be the most "important" IT tech they have, but if there are 50 other skilled IT techs out there that can do your job, then what difference is it to the company? If you and only you have intimate knowledge of a certain infrastructure, procedure, recipe, experience, etc that no one else has and the company relies on your expertise to function properly, you can't be replaced and that is what I mean by integral to the company.
post #23 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemur 6 View Post
You can be the most "important" IT tech they have, but if there are 50 other skilled IT techs out there that can do your job, then what difference is it to the company? If you and only you have intimate knowledge of a certain infrastructure, procedure, recipe, experience, etc that no one else has and the company relies on your expertise to function properly, you can't be replaced and that is what I mean by integral to the company.
Except most companies would not allow that to happen. It's essential that you have written instructions for things like that in case you're off sick or something. If I was a manager or owned a company and had an employee who was that secretive they'd be first out of the door if they weren't prepared to share their knowledge. Most companies want team players.

I'm not overworked but I am underpayed But that's a choice I made. I could probably get more money if I was prepared to work all hours and be totally stressed out all the time. But there's more to life than work and I'm happy with my work/life balance at the moment.

Some people are genuinely over-worked but others are just workaholics who don't know how to delegate or want to be seen to be working more hours than someone else. I know sometimes it's necessary to work long hours but sometimes people put money above everything else. They may end up with a better job and more money, but no time to enjoy other things in life including their family and friends. That's just sad.
post #24 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemur 6 View Post
Ahem, culture has a ton to do with work ethics and work culture. What is considered normal for me having worked in Asia is considered torture by most of my colleagues here in there US. Crashing just a few hours a day at the work place in a sleeping bag you brought from home and subsisting off of instant foods for a week straight will certainly give you many concerned looks here in the US, but is considered fairly normal in Japan for example.


think you misunderstood. You can be the most "important" IT tech they have, but if there are 50 other skilled IT techs out there that can do your job, then what difference is it to the company? If you and only you have intimate knowledge of a certain infrastructure, procedure, recipe, experience, etc that no one else has and the company relies on your expertise to function properly, you can't be replaced and that is what I mean by integral to the company.
that some what true. But i have seen many people from asia(-minus japan)
who think america is insane in try to work, who give up and go back home.

No i do understand, i have seen people who did do just what your talking about. They still got walked out. when it was time. SOme of them where very important, and set up many of the systems here. Couple of them where the best IT people i had ever worked with(the unix system has never worked right after the lady was let go) Sure there was some issues for a few weeks, but nothing that stopped the company from doing its job. There is no such thing as a person that cant be replaced. the best you can is make harder.
But if you do that are you really doing your job?

if you want a job you cant be let go, then start your own, i did. I am just doing this until i get my business visa back.
post #25 of 25
I dont feel overworked *YET* but i just started the job and the pay is good. I do however sometimes feeloverworked with my at home buisness. Especially durin the holidays But thats how it is.

I think companys do expect you to do more for less nowadays sadly and I know alot of companys get mad at employees who wont volenteer to stay late or what not.


On the issue of, Degrees and skills. I find that unfair. while I understand degrees are an asset in todays job force and pretty much needed Just because you dont have one doesnt make you any less of a good skilled worker.

I dont have one. I dont currently have any plans to get one (that may change) but i am by no means dumb...or unskilled. and i work HARD for my money
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