So there’s this story I read this morning, which says that Canadians work a lot.
“So what?” you’re sniffing. “Lots of people work A LOT. Duh.”
No. Seriously. We do. A few numerical examples, courtesy of the Canadian HR Reporter:
1,751: the number of hours Canadians worked in 2004.
43: when translating the above number of hours into days, how many more of those days we worked in one year than the Dutch, French, Danes and Germans.
6 (per cent): Using an example, how much less the Irish worked than us in a year.
14 (per cent): Using the same example, how much more the Irish contributed – because of their work – to their country in dollars and cents than we did in a year.
1956: The last time Canada got its last big cut in working hours.
6: the number of days per week Canadians used to work 50 years ago.
24: the number of vacation and statutory days Canadians get. (We lost one between 1980 and 2000.)
36: the number of vacation days Europeans get. (Between 1980 and 2000, they gained six days. Six.)
What’s that? Still think Europeans are a bunch of lazy suckers? I beg to differ, especially when dealing with these numbers:
32 million: the number of vacation days we Canadians fail to take ANNUALLY.
$5.2 billion: the amount of money we give away to our employers because we decide to suck it up and NOT take aforesaid vacation days.
19: the average number of vacation days we’re entitled to in 2006. We’re better than the U.S. (they only get 14) and Australia (17 days). But we’re among the lowest in the developed world.
Don’t believe me? Here’s the link to the story which boasts this figure. Do you STILL think you’re just tired ’cause you’re not getting en0ugh sleep?
Yes, there are jobs out there which don’t afford the luxury of a nice work week. I understand that. It comes with the territory. But there are people out there who are genuine workaholics. And guess what? You’re kinda ruining it for everyone else.
Honestly? Someone needs to find a way to not only shorten the work week for a LOT of people, ESPECIALLY those burned-out people with families to support, working jobs with crappy hours (and crappy jobs with crappy hours) – and to compensate them accordingly.
Give them more money, and some more time off, for crying out loud. The jobs they commute to aren’t the ONLY jobs they do once they leave their places of business for the day. They’ve got other people to answer to at the end of the day: their families. How on earth are they supposed to do a good job at work when they’re cranky, walking zombies all the time? And how are they supposed to be a good members and pillars of their communities when they’re too dead to stand on their feet at the end of the day?
Here’s one last observation from the Canadian HR Reporter piece to leave you with (not a number):
The expert was paraphrased as saying “that working long hours might also increase the likelihood of people making mistakes.”
(Postscript: Perhaps I shouldn’t be kvetching, given the millions, nay, billions of people worldwide that have it a millon times crappier than we do, with horrendous wages and horrific conditions, just skim the tip of the tip of the iceberg … but that’s a subject which deserves a post all its own. One of these days.)