The quality of life of those in the U.S. is most likely lower than some other countries due to the amount of time we spend working. According to a study done by ABC News, the average worker in the United States works more than 40 hours on average. Those receiving a salary or in management positions often work even longer due to meetings and other business related commitments. They are oftentimes uncompensated for this overtime.
Money seems to be everything these days, and people will push their limit just to achieve a monetary goal. This leads to more stress and less free time to do activities they enjoy. People get so caught up in their work that they have little time to enjoy themselves. Other European countries work far less for this very reason. They often work shorter days and have extended vacations. Studies have shown this leads to even more productivity.
A 35-Hour Work Week
Eliminating the 35-hour work week was probably a bad idea. It seemed like a successful law in the past. Fewer work hours leads to happier lives and increased productivity in the long run. Some people may be happy with the decision, however. They enjoy the opportunity to make more money. The majority do not want to work longer each day, and this will probably lead to increased stress among the workers. The overall quality of life may deteriorate.
Quality of Life
Employers should most definitely consider the quality of life of their employees and worry about their well-being. Overworking your employees only causes more problems. Stress and fatigue can lead to a variety of health problems as well. Workers are more likely to be angry with customers, and overall job satisfaction may decrease. The employer must find the sweet spot when it comes to the number of hours an employee must work. I think France had it right with the 35-hour work week. While recent data suggest the 35-hour work week is a thing of the past, even in France, the work environment in Europe is much more laid back.
Factors of Unemployment
There are many factors that determine unemployment rate and GDP. The world economy can vary largely from country to country. Politics also plays a large role in the economy/unemployment. Europeans also tend to have more benefits and a larger amount of vacation days. When the economy is struggling, it is tough to keep such a system running. You can’t really play the numbers on the amount of hours they work compared to ours.
At the end of the day, Americans love to follow tradition. When it comes to working, we haven’t adapted like many European countries. I think it’s time for a change. Who’s with me?
35 Hour Work Weeks Fading in France — Rude Baguette
Americans Work More Than Anyone — ABC News