SEOUL, Oct. 26 (Korea Bizwire) – Research shows that those who are able to choose how much they work are healthier than those who work less or more than the number of hours they wish to work.
On average, employees worked an average of an hour and half more than they wished. The gap between the desired hours of work and actual work hours was the biggest among men, people in their 30s, those with more than a junior college degree, and those who worked for a company larger than a medium-sized business.
According to the Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs, 27,492 workers between the ages of 20 and 65 worked an average of 46.98 hours every week.
However, average desired work hours came in at 44.98 hours a week, showing that the respondents worked an average of 1.56 hours more than they hoped to. A majority of 60.1 percent reported that they worked the same number of hours as they wanted to work. However, 28.5 percent answered that they worked more than they hoped to, and 11.4 percent worked less than they desired.
Researchers also investigated workers’ medical histories to see if there was a correlation between the number work hours worked and physical health.
The respondents were asked what they thought of their health condition, and to get more objective data, they also had to answer questions about how often they experienced illnesses such as skin conditions, back pain, muscle pain, headaches and stomachaches during the past year. The respondents answered on a scale of one to five, with one being ‘very good’ and five being ‘very bad’.
The results of the investigation showed that people seemed to be in better shape when the desired number of work hours and actual work hours coincided, with those who were either over or underworked reporting inferior health outcomes.
The report suggested that companies could increase productivity by lowering the gap between the time employees hope to work, and the time they are actually working. The researchers claimed that the government should take measures to allow individuals to manage their own working hours.
By Francine Jung (firstname.lastname@example.org)