As we all know – at various times one can be absolutely overwhelmed with work and ‘issues’ to deal with.
Nothing unusual in the engineering workforce especially with project type work and harsh deadlines to meet.
Examples of stress include: you may feel that you can’t cope with yet another email as you have this seemingly unlimited list of tasks to do; the phone is ringing with urgent requests; people are shouting at you for your decision on a crucial project; you have to prepare for an awkward presentation next week… and there are snide comments about possible cost overruns with a project you are managing.
And to add insult to injury, you may feel that in your leisure time at home that you should be working to catch up.
It is important to deal with these times effectively so that you can pop out the other side with the load removed from your sagging shoulders.
Putting extra time at work may yield you good impressions at work, but be wary that this may harm your health in the long term.
This is what a new research by the Australian National University has found, saying that engineers who work more than 39 hours a week are putting their health at risk.
A study like this hits close to engineers as we are usually overworked and yet underpaid.
Contrary to the international limit set about 80 years ago which is 48 hours per week, this research drastically reduces the number of work hours. That is if you are after going a healthy life.
The research involved 8,000 Australian adults, conducted as part of the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey.
Two in three Australians in full-time employment worked more than 40 hours a week, with long hours a bigger problem for women who do more unpaid work at home, according to Dr Huong Dinh, lead researcher from the ANU Research School of Population Health.
“Long work hours erode a person’s mental and physical health, because it leaves less time to eat well and look after themselves properly,” he says.
If considering other commitments of women, Dr Dinh tells that the previously set limit for healthy work is at 34 hours per week. For men, it was 47 hours a week because of the lesser involvement on care or domestic work compared to women.
Dr Dinh adds, “Despite the fact that women on average are as skilled as men, women on average have lower paid jobs and less autonomy than men, and they spend much more time on care and domestic work.”
He goes on to say that given the extra demands placed on women, it’s impossible for women to work long hours often expected by employers unless they compromise their health.