Friday, January 09, 2009

Extreme Work

The phrase "extreme work" was introduced to me through a class at JFKU where I am wrapping up my MBA (with a minor in Museum Studies).

I may be part of a panel or roundtable at the Western Museums Association that will be focused on the 24/7 work week and sustainable work. Or I might just help pull the roundtable discussion together. I do see pros and cons here.

Below is a clip from a 2007 article in USA Today. (Second USA quote on blog in a month, hmmm??...)

Hi, I’m Joan, and I’m a workaholic:
Technology enables rise of extreme workers, on job 60 hours or more

By Stephanie Armour, USA TODAY

"...Extreme work is real. The technological age has exacerbated this problem beyond belief," says Ken Siegel, of Beverly Hills, Calif., president of The Impact Group, a group of psychologists who consult with the management of leading global companies. "You can take work into the shower or the bath. There's no escape. (Extreme workers) often feel like if they don't work like that, they'll fail or their performance will suffer. They focus externally on the next goal, the next task."

A study in the December issue of Harvard Business Review provided new information on the rise in workaholics: Of extreme job holders, 48% say they are working an average of 16.6 more hours per week than they did five years ago.

About 60% of high-earning individuals work more than 50 hours a week, 35% more than 60 hours, and 10% more than 80 hours. Add in a typical one-hour commute, and a 60-hour week means leaving home at 7 a.m. and returning at 9 p.m. five days a week. Using the definition of extreme worker, the researchers found about 20% of high earners surveyed have extreme jobs..."

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