The Average Workweek is Actually 47 Hours

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You often hear about the 40-hour workweek. It turns out that’s not the reality for many full-time workers.

A new Gallup survey revealed that when it comes to working, nearly half of Americans put in extra hours each week. The average workweek now totals 47 hours, nearly an entire workday longer than the standard full-time schedule. One in 4 Americans reported working a minimum of 50 hours a week.

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Long working hours are nothing new for Americans. Gallup data shows similar working hours for the past 14 years.

According to The Wall Street Journal, salaried workers put in even more time at work, averaging 49 hours per week. One in 4 salaried employees said they work at least 60 hours each week.

The reasons for the long workweek are many. The WSJ said:

The reasons for working the number of hours we do depend on a number of factors, some personal and others dependent on employers. For example, employers might not want to pay overtime for hourly workers, whereas employers aren’t likely to complain if salaried workers put in more than 40 hours.

Additionally, some who work full time do so by working multiple jobs. According to Gallup, 12 percent of workers have two jobs, and 1 percent have three or more.

Those who toil away at work sacrifice their own personal time. And working long hours may actually hurt your effectiveness as an employee. The WSJ said:

“The worst advice I ever heard about running a business is to buy into the myth of long hours and never-ending hard work,” according to Wayne Rivers, co-founder and president of the Family Business Institute and author of books about family and closely held businesses. “It crowds out time you desperately need to plan, dream, meet, develop your employees, and deliberate on the future of your business so that you can get ahead of the firefighting curve and, finally, prosper.”

When I worked full time, I rarely worked just 40 hours a week. And my husband is lucky if he spends less than 50 hours in the office in any given week.

How many hours do you typically spend at work each week? Share your comments below or on our Facebook page.

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