WORK­OUT More week­ends spent in of­fice

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Career One -

SKILLS short­age in Aus­tralia is tak­ing its toll on week­ends for em­ploy­ees.

A Robert Half sur­vey of 2283 fi­nance pro­fes­sion­als in 17 coun­tries shows about three out of five Aus­tralians work more than one week­end a month. In con­trast, three out of five in Spain and Ire­land never work on week­ends.

Work ex­tend­ing to week­ends is a neg­a­tive in­di­ca­tor of work-life bal­ance.

The sur­vey shows 70 per cent of Aus­tralian em­ploy­ees work be­tween 39 and 55 hours a week. About 11 per cent work more than 55 hours a week.

‘‘ As com­pa­nies ex­pand un­der­staffing can be­come an is­sue, which be­comes more pro­nounced dur­ing a skills short­age,’’ says Robert Half di­rec­tor Richard Dunks.

‘‘ As a re­sult, peo­ple are work­ing harder to get the job done. The skills short­age means peo­ple are also be­ing pro­moted ear­lier than they were in the past, and so may have to put in longer hours to learn their new roles.’’

Ac­cord­ing to the sur­vey, the rea­sons for longer work­ing hours in­clude more pres­sure (61 per cent), com­pany growth (54 per cent) and un­der­staffing (31 per cent).

Along with longer work­ing hours, em­ploy­ees are also spend­ing more time on the mo­bile phones and emails keep­ing in touch with of­fice out­side of work.

The sur­vey shows 38 per cent of Aus­tralians al­ways keep their mo­bile phones switched on and check of­fice emails out­side of work. About 40 per cent take their PDAs or lap­taps with them dur­ing hol­i­days. About 13 per cent are worka­holics who are rest­less un­less they are in touch with of­fice.

For those think­ing of go­ing over­seas to re­trieve their week­ends, Hong Kong would be the wrong choice. About 90 per cent of the em­ploy­ees there work ev­ery other week­end, the sur­vey shows.

Other na­tions in which a sig­nif­i­cant pro­por­tion of em­ploy­ees work one or more week­ends in a month are New Zealand (49 per cent), Canada (68 per cent), Ja­pan (74 per cent) and Italy (76 per cent). The sur­vey also shows: Those work­ing in com­pa­nies with less than 50 em­ploy­ees are more likely to take work home than those in large firms.

About 37 per cent of Aus­tralians never work on week­ends.

About 59 per cent never take work with them dur­ing hol­i­days.

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