Published: 22 November 2017
Author: Stringer Clark

Why go home on time?

If there was ever a day to go home on time, it’s today because it’s Go Home on Time Day!

Established by The Australia Institute, the day was conceived in 2009 as a light-hearted way to start necessary conversations in our workplaces about work/life balance, the value of time, and addresses the value of unpaid overtime which Australian workers perform in their workplaces.

A legal perspective on working over time

Having practised law for several decades, I have witnessed first-hand the rise of technology and how this has increased the pace of life and expectations in the work place.

More importantly, having helped hundreds of victims to road trauma and workplace injury, I have seen first-hand how devastating fatigue can be for an individual and their family when resulting in accidents.

Clients often tell us how they regret not having taken greater precautions in preventing their accidents, whether it’s a truck driver clocking a few extra miles on the road or a storeman who wasn’t thinking clearly and lifted heavy machinery. Clients often share that their commitment to the job outweighed their commitment to themselves and ultimately their family.

Fatigue kills. It can also cause severe injury which can cause havoc in people’s lives.

The tide is turning

According to an article in the Guardian in April 2017 titled ‘Full time becoming a fantasy as Australians work fewer hours than ever before’ there is a cultural shift underway. It reports that:

“Australian workers on average are working fewer hours than ever before as the shift from full-time to part-time work continues and, with it, the rise in underemployment.

In March, Australian workers averaged a mere 34 hours and 40 minutes of work each week. This was just above the record low of 34 hours and 38 minutes set in June last year but is well down on the 35 hours and 14 minutes worked just five years ago.”

The lucky country

Meanwhile, a recent article in the Huffington Post tells a different story in the United States and is titled ‘3 Scientifically Backed Reasons Why Working Less Leads to More Productivity’ outlines why it pays to go home on time as follows. It states:

“In the United States we think about the typical work week as being 40 hours long, but Americans are actually working 47 hours a week on average. Worse than that, 4 out of every 10 Americans say they work more than 50 hours a week, and 2 out of 10 Americans say they work more than 60 hours a week.

Even if we only spend 40 hours a week in the office, mobile devices and employer provided laptops mean we’re often logging on to do more work once we arrive at home. When our phones buzz with the sound of a new email, it’s hard for us to resist checking our inbox and then shooting off a reply no matter what time it is.”

So, in summary if you needed any further convincing, enjoy the spring time and head home on time today as your productivity will most likely increase and you can spend quality time with family and friends or enjoying your own company.

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