Working Hours Impact People's Health

Topics: Working time, Health, Eight-hour day Pages: 5 (1313 words) Published: August 26, 2013
1.0 ABSTRACT

This report has a number of sections.
1. a. The ‘Introduction’ explains the background of this report, and states the main purpose of this report. 1. b. The ’Findings’ investigates the findings in 3 sets of data. The first one is about work-related health problems.

The second one is about the connection between working hours and mental health. The third one is about the impact of long working hours on work-life balance. 1. c. Following this, conclusions are drawn. In short, long working hours do not benefit individuals, therefore reducing it would be a good idea. 1. d. In the next section, recommendations have been suggested. The main recommendations are

* Working hours should be scheduled on the basis of adequate off hours. * HR should gradually hire more part-time workers and decrease full-time workers. * Offering employees exercise and recreational facilities immediately and organizing staff party occasionally may lessen their pressure. 1. e. In the final section, references are cited.

2.0 INTRODUCTION

At present, the problems which are caused by long working hours have became continuously severe. The negative impacts on people’s health which can arise as a result of long working time have been indicated by an increasing number of evidence. Furthermore, long working hours can heighten stress levels and have a negative effect on achieving a work-life balance (Manfred Krenn and Christoph Hermann 2004).

Accordingly, a busy advertising company has commissioned a report about if substituting more part-time workers for full-time workers brings benefits or drawbacks. As a consultant to this company, the main purpose of the report is to research the merits and demerits of reducing employee’s working hours and to make some credible recommendations about the issue.

By researching the information from websites including European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, the emphasis of individual’s health has been separated into three main points –physical health, mental health and work-life balance. Thus, the report focuses on these three aspects.

3.0 FINDINGS

3.1 Long working hours result in several physical health problems

According to Boisard, Cartron, Gollac and Valeyre (2003), employees are increasingly inclined to believe that their work threatens their health and indeed report that their health suffers more if they are forced to work long hours. Also, there is a distinct correlation between long working hours and employees reporting numerous types of work-related health problems, including backache, hearing problems, stomach pains and injuries.

FIGURE 1 Breakdown of employees reporting work-related health problems (in %)[pic] < http://www.eurofound.europa.eu/pubdocs/2003/07/en/1/ef0307en.pdf> As can be seen from Figure 1, regarding all health problems in this table, European average levels are 59.4%, 32.8%, 7.7%,4.1% and 7.4% severally. To make a comparison of different working hours, 69.9% of employees who have more than 10 hours one day per month have health affected, which account for more proportion than others. In terms of backache, hearing problems, stomach pains and injuries, people who work one night per month at least get the highest scores (39.6%, 13.1%, 7.8% and 11.8% respectively). By contrast, individuals who work one Saturday per month are least seriously harmed by health affected, hearing problems, stomach pains and injuries while backache harms them 0.2% more than people who work one evening per month.

Although the statistics is about European work-related health problems, Europe is the world in miniature. Clearly, more working hours allow for more physical problems. The graph shows some nonstandard working hours, such as night work and overtime work, are seemed to be the root of certain health problems. Also, some ‘flexible’ working hours (night work), to a certain degree, mean that employees have to spend...
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