The perfect work/life balance is something that every Australian strives for, but just how many of us are achieving it?
The recent Walking The Tightrope report found that Australians worked 58.8 million hours of unpaid overtime last year, adding up to $110 billion based on the average income. Furthermore, full-time workers gave up six hours a week of overtime on average while part-time workers give up three hours.
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These shocking figures come at a time when unemployment rates in Australia are soaring above average. Currently, employers are no doubt reaping the benefits of these unpaid overtime hours. However, it is said that if these hours were distributed and paid to the currently unemployed Australians, then the unemployment rate would drop from 6.2 per cent to zero.
Why are Australian workers struggling to find work/life balance? The Sydney Morning Herald argues that job insecurity and longer working hours is to blame.
It should be in the hands of employers to implement better strategies and take more initiative to ensure a healthier balance for Australian workers. Some companies are already ahead by providing flexible work hours and disabling employees’ emails while they are on vacation.
These unpaid overtime hours are no doubt contributing to greater job dissatisfaction and more seriously, increasing mental and physical illness among Australians.