Written on Sunday, December 10, 2006 by Gemini
Study Finds 45% Of High-Earning Professionals Work At Least 60 Hours A Week, Sacrificing Family Life
Millions of high flying executives are risking divorce as the long hours they work play havoc on their sex lives, a new study has found. Ambitious professionals are sacrificing their personal lives and ignoring their children because of a new phenomenon—”the extreme job”.
Research, published by the Harvard Business Review, identifies this new type of worker who regards a 10-hour day at work as part-time. It is “wreaking havoc on private lives and taking a toll on health and well-being”, the research warns. The research estimates 45 per cent of high-earning people working for large global companies have “extreme jobs” despite the ferociously tough qualifications.
For starters, an extreme job involves working at least 60 hours a week, although many work 100 hours or more. Holidays are a rarity. Nearly half take 10 or fewer days’ holiday every year, and “regularly” cancel time-off if something comes up at work. In fact, work is so important that people with “extreme jobs” have made sacrifices which would shock anybody who is not a workaholic. The wife of one “extreme worker” said: “The first year we were married, we had to rearrange my grandmother’s funeral so that he wouldn’t miss a meeting.”
The biggest losers are the spouses and young families of workers with extreme jobs. Nearly half of men and women who took part in the internatinonal research project said their jobs “interfere with having a strong relationship with my partner.”
In a shocking admission, it warns: “At the end of a 12-hour or longer day at work, 45% of all respondents in our global companies survey are too tired to say anything at all to their spouses or partners.” The same number said their jobs, which involves regular travel and evening entertainment, make it “impossible” to have a “satisfying sex life.”
The results were equally worrying when the workers were asked about the impact that their jobs have on their children. They were asked: “Has your child ever experienced any of the following because of the number of house you work?”
All parents admitted their long working house mean their children regularly watch too much television, eat too much junk food and have discipline problems. In a surprising twist, the research concludes that people with “extreme jobs” do not hate their work. They love it. They do not feel exploited—they feel exalted. Asked why they do their jobs, more than 80% of both men and women said they find them stimulating and challenging. Earning a fortune was ranked as the third most common reason. Extreme jobs are found in all sectors of the economy, such as entertainment, media, medicine and consulting.