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Updated: 3:04 a.m. Tuesday, July 15, 2014 | Posted: 3:04 a.m. Tuesday, July 15, 2014

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40-hour work week a thing of the past, study says

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The “Take Back 60” study found 88 percent of the 617 respondents who took the online survey last month said they work more than 40 hours a week.

By Christopher Seward

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

ATLANTA —

When was the last time you worked a 40-hour week? Thought so.

The time-honored 40-hour, 9-to-5 work week is a thing of the past, according to a new survey conducted for Premiere Global Services Inc., an Atlanta-based company that helps businesses increase productivity through collaboration software and services.

The “Take Back 60” study found 88 percent of the 617 respondents who took the online survey last month said they work more than 40 hours a week.

Seventy-one percent said they take work home at least one day a week.

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Among the other findings:

  • 71% said they work more than they prefer.
  • 63% eat lunch at their desk.
  • 61% commute more than 30 minutes each day, with nearly 25 percent clocking in at over an hour.

A majority of the respondents (64 percent) said they would spend more time with family or exercise if they could reclaim 60 minutes (hence the title of the survey) from their overworked week. A third would pursue a hobby, and about a quarter would catch up on household chores or learn or improve a skill.

In speaking to venture capitalists recently, Google CEO Larry Page suggested the idea that people need to work harder and longer hours “is just not true."

“Most people like working, but they'd also like to have more time with their family or to pursue their own interests,” Page told Vinod Khosla, founder of Khosla Ventures, according to multiple reports, including Mashable.com.

Salon also recently took up the subject with a piece under the headline “Bring back the 40-hour workweek.” The in-depth piece by Sara Robinson of Alternet says, “The single easiest, fastest thing your company can do to boost its output and profits — starting right now, today — is to get everybody off the 55-hour-a-week treadmill, and back onto a 40-hour footing.” The piece looks at how we got to the 40-hour work week, how we lost it and “compelling bottom-line business reasons” for getting it back.

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