2017-08-10 08:54





In the 19th century the slogan “eight hours’ labour,eight hours’ recreation, eight hours’ rest” becamethe rallying cry of unions and social justice reformers on both sides of the Atlantic.


More than a century later, that hard-won victory is under threat. In many cases it has alreadybeen overturned.


“The 40-hour week is long gone,” says Karyn Twaronite, global diversity and inclusivenessofficer at Ernst & Young. Its study of nearly 10,000 full-time managers in eight countriesfound that working hours have increased sharply since the financial crisis hit in 2007-8.

安永(Ernst & Young)全球多样性和包容性主管卡里恩礠荲坬耐特(Karyn Twaronite)表示:“每周40小时工作制早已成为过去。”安永对8个国家近1万名全职管理者进行的研究发现,自2007年至2008年全球金融危机爆发以来,工作时间已大幅延长。

“It’s not just a US phenomenon,” says Ms Twaronite. “Many other countries are tipping thescales. Since the financial crisis, working more than 40 hours has become the ‘new normal.’”考研政治题型


About half of managers work more than 40 hours, the study found. A third say they areworking an additional five or more hours a week.


But the extra hours do not necessarily translate into higher productivity. According to a studyby Stanford University, productivity declines sharply after 50 hours, and plummets to almostnothing after 55 hours, so much so that the extra 15 hours is of little value.

但这些额外工作时间未必转化为更高的生产率。根据斯坦福大学(Stanford University)的一项研究,一周工作50小时以上生产率将大幅下滑,超过55小时生产率将几乎锐降至零,因此多出的15小时几乎没有任何意义。

John Pencavel, the study author, says this could be because “employees at work for a long timemay experience fatigue or stress that not only reduces [their] productivity, but also increasesthe probability of errors, accidents and sickness that impose costs on the employer.”

这份调查的作者约翰堠慯韦尔(John Pencavel)表示,这可能是因为“长时间工作的员工可能会感到疲惫或压力,这不仅会降低他们的生产率,还会增加失误、事故和疾病的几率,给雇主带来损失。”

Technology is partly to blame for the rise in working hours, combined with the increasinglyinsecure job market. Although smartphones and remote work software have broughtflexibility, too often the need to be “always in touch” is piled on top of — rather than during —the traditional eight-hour day, according to EY’s Ms Twaronite.


“People are tethered to technology,” she says. “They can’t just go home and switch off. Youcan be finished for the day but it will be morning in China and you will be expected to respond.Count all those extra minutes online and the hours add up very quickly,” she adds.


Sarah Moore, professor of psychology at the University of Puget Sound, who has studied thedecline in working conditions in the US, says that workloads have grown because businesseshave downsized so that employees now have to do the work that used to be done by two ormore co-workers.

普吉特海湾大学(University of Puget Sound)心理学教授萨拉椠尔(Sarah Moore)研究了美国工作条件下滑的现象。他表示,由于企业裁员,工作量增加,员工现在必须一个人完成以前两个或更多同事的工作。

“In addition, especially since the 2008 economic downturn, many workers have reported to usthat they are grateful for a job and are unwilling, for example, by turning down overtimehours, to jeopardise their employment.”


Leon Grunberg, professor of sociology at the University of Puget Sound, blames the changeson “more aggressive business targets, more pressure to reduce costs, more technology, and,as a result, more stress,” he says. “Additionally, support functions, for example, humanresources, were cut and shifted to managers.”

普吉特海湾大学社会学教授莱昂格伦伯格(Leon Grunberg)将这些变化归咎于“更为激进的业务目标、更大的降低成本压力,更多技术以及这一切造成的更大压力,”他表示,“另外,人力资源等配套职能被裁撤并移交给管理者。”

“As salaried employees who don’t have to clock in, managers are also subject to sometimessubtle and sometimes not so subtle pressure from supervisors and peers to show that theyare good, loyal employees by coming early and staying late.”


Nicola Smith, head of economics at the UK’s Trades Union Congress, says the move away fromthe 40-hour week is part of a long-term shift driven by seven-day-a-week opening for shops,the decline of unions and increasing numbers of women in the workplace.

英国工会大会(Trades Union Congress)经济学主管尼古拉史密斯(Nicola Smith)表示,放弃每周40小时工作制是长期变迁的一部分,商店每周营业7天、工会衰落以及工作女性增加推动了这一趋势。

“It now takes two earners to keep a household going, not just one. We’ve moved away fromthe traditional breadwinner model,” she says.


The TUC has coined the phrase “Burnout Britain” to describe the long-hours working culture.Its study of Office for National Statistics data found that the number of people working morethan 48 hours per week had risen by 15 per cent since 2010 to 3,417,000.

英国工会大会提出“筋疲力尽的英国”(Burnout Britain)这个词来形容长时间工作的文化。该组织对英国国家统计局(Office for National Statistics)数据的研究发现,自2010年以来,每周工作超过48小时的员工数量增加了15%,达到341.7万人。

Ben Willmott, head of public policy at Britain’s Chartered Institute for Personnel andDevelopment, says the shift away from the 40 hour week is “gradual but the trend is definitelyin train”.

英国特许人事与发展协会(Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development)公共政策主管本威尔莫特(Ben Willmott)表示,改变每周40小时工作制的过程是“渐进的,但这个趋势肯定在持续”。

Even though technology has the power to unshackle workers from their desks, the CIPD saysthere is an increase in “presenteeism” — the need to be seen in the office. It found that 30 percent of employers have seen an increase in people coming in to work while they are sick and 40per cent a rise in mental health problems in the past 12 months.


“Although the job market has picked up, the outlook is still pretty uncertain, which is onereason why some people are reluctant to take time off sick even when they are ill.” says MrWilmott.


“The overall net effect is that many employees find themselves working more hours simplybecause it is possible and the workplace culture expects it,” says Ms Moore.





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