The Demise of the Work Week | Is 50+ Hours the New Normal?

The buzz around the Internet watercooler these days is the four-day work week, a new offering from modern businesses trying to attract top talent and claim “best place to work” swagger. A new survey from PGi reveals that regardless of how many days a company instills as the standard, 87% of knowledge workers admit to working beyond the 40-hour norm. And 71% of them aren’t happy about it.

How many hours do you typically work in an average week?

  • .64%: Less than 25 hours
  • .32%: 25-30 hours
  • 1.6%: 31-35 hours
  • 9.94%: 36-40 hours
  • 31.57%: 41-45 hours
  • 32.53%: 46-50 hours
  • 23.4%: More than 50 hours

The “Take Back 60” survey, a follow-up from the first edition in 2014, asked U.S. knowledge workers—employees who handle or use information—about their work hours and what they would do if they could reclaim 60 minutes of “work” time for personal use.

Working Longer in the Office and at Home

Even with the advancements in technology and the trends towards remote work, the survey revealed that nearly 21% of knowledge workers are still slogging long hours in the traditional office. The majority, however, are steadily blurring the lines between work and personal time, with work-related activities infringing on weekends for 15% of respondents.

How many days per week do you take work home with you after leaving the office?

  • 18.59%: 1 day
  • 16.67%: 2 days
  • 14.1%: 3 days
  • 8.49%: 4 days
  • 10.58%: 5 days
  • 4.33%: 6 days
  • 6.25%: 7 days
  • 20.99%: Never

Goodbye, Lunch Hour

Lunch time is increasingly the victim of this new increased work-hour trend, with workers trying to cram more productivity into their workday. Fifty-eight percent of respondents said they do not take a lunch break away from their desks during the typical workday.

I’d rather be ________.

With more and more personal time evaporating, PGi asked workers what they’d do if they could reclaim 60 minutes of “work” time. The overwhelming winners were exercise and family time at 52.64% and 47%, respectively.

Top Office Perks for De-stressing

For companies hoping to reduce the stress and improve productivity for their workers, surveyed knowledge workers said exercise programs are the most desired perk. Thirty-two percent wish their companies offered gym memberships, followed by office relaxation rooms at 25.91%.

How would you Take Back 60 if you had the chance? Are you feeling overworked or just wish you could capture more time in your work week?

Follow the conversation on Twitter using #TakeBack60, and visit our blog all this week for more work week trends, survey results and great ideas for putting 60 minutes of “you time” back into your week.

For full “Take Back 60” survey results, email [email protected]


About Blakely T.

Blakely is a work-life juggler with three little monsters, Sci-Fi/Fantasy Book-a-holic, Atlanta transplant and PR/social/content strategist (and presentations nerd) for PGi.

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