Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Australia unfortunately rates as the second hardest working OECD nation, behind only the USA, and many Australians are working 40-60 hour weeks.

My first job was for a majaor national (now international) engineering & environmental consultancy, where the working week was officially 40 hours. Unofficially, if you couldn't bill enough of your hours to job nunbers, you were 'unproductive', no matter how many hours you worked. I worked one contract where I averaged just under 90 hours a week for 6 months without a day off. It was a joke that I should sleep in the office. Once that contract finished, because I had had no time to tender for other contracts, I had too little 'productive' (ie job time) on my books, so I ended up working 70 hours a week for over a year. I put up with it until I had saved enough to take a 2 year break, but the cost was my mind- I reached the point where basic tasks were extremely difficult and stressful.

My story is far from uncommon here, and most professional Australians are at the point of feeling guilty if they aren't working full hours, or staying at work at least one night a week to squeeze out that extra profitability. I now work in the Federal public service with vastly better conditions inclduing a 73.5 hour fortnight, but even amongst a culture famous for people clocking in at 3 past 9 and clocking out at 4.33 on the dot, vast numbers in our department are working long hours.

I hope Europe resists this madness and educates the rest of us. Myself, I learnt my lesson, and despite being at 'executive level' have a public policy of minimising my overtime, and do. The result is I get to arrive at work and go home at decent hours, rarely if ever work weekends, take time of in lieu after extensive travel, and have the same outstanding performance rating as my colleagues who all work overtime.

"This can't possibly get more disturbing!" - Willow

by myriad (imogenk at wildmail dot com) on Wed Jul 6th, 2005 at 01:47:09 AM EST

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