Are We Overworked?

If you watched the Olympics, you probably saw the above commercial for the Cadillac ELR. Tonya from Budget and the Beach also wrote an interesting post about this topic last Friday. Definitely check out her post entitled Why Do We Work So Hard and the comments at the bottom. At first, I didn’t pay much attention to the entire commercial. I heard a few of his statements and it sounded inspiring. He talked about hard-work. He dropped names like Bill Gates, the Wright Brothers and Muhammad Ali.

Here is an excerpt of what main actor in the commercials says:

Why do we work so hard? For what? For this? For stuff? Other countries they work, they stroll home, they stop by the café, they take August off. Off. Why aren’t you like that? Why aren’t WE like that? Because we’re crazy driven hard working believers that’s why…

After watching it a few more times as it was constantly playing, it started to annoy me. Of course, my number one problem with the commercial is the implication that we work hard so we can buy nice things, like the Cadillac ELR and the fancy house with the infinity pool. Obviously if you read my blog, you know I’m not a fan of excessive consumerism. But I understand that this is an ad, and that their job is to sell cars.

Another issue that the actor brings up is that Americans work harder than others in other countries. He takes a jab at Europeans for strolling home after work, stopping by a café and for taking the entire month of August off. We Americans pride ourselves on hard-work and ingenuity. Of course, there is nothing wrong with these qualities. In fact, they are excellent qualities to have. But the commercial struck a chord with me because he took pride in only taking 2 weeks off. I have heard many people working in the corporate world talk about the long hours they work as a badge of honor. They post status updates on their Facebook and Twitter accounts about still being at work and being there on the weekends. A woman in Indonesia posted on Twitter that she had worked 30 hours straight and was still going strong, before she passed away. I’ve heard conversations where people compare war stories of working excessive hours with each person trying to top the other person’s story. It seems that to climb the corporate ladder, long hours, working on weekends and being accessible when you are outside of the office is a requirement. Vacation time may be available but it only means you had better complete your project ahead of time, and it probably means you’ll have more work waiting for you when you return. Sometimes, you might even be working during your vacation. My sister, who worked long hours as an auditor, told me when she was auditing a law firm, cots were provided to the attorneys there who sometimes left after she did. I remember when she worked on Mother’s Day, but was lucky enough to leave early enough to make it to dinner.

The U.S is the only major industrialized nation without a national paid sick-leave policy or mandated annual leave policy. The U.S is the only major industrialized nation that doesn’t provide paid maternity leave. Now I don’t want to get into a discussion of the economic and political ramifications of requiring such leave. I think many Americans are of the opinion that our European counterparts are somewhat lazy, and that their economic systems are doom to fail because they do not work hard enough. It is interesting to see the different mindset in different countries.

I think hard-work is the key to success. But for me, I am not willing to sacrifice valuable time spent with family and time to pursue my own interest to slave away at the office. I understand not everyone has the same values. Some may enjoy what they do, and putting in long hours on a labor of love is satisfying. I work in a job where I have set hours and rarely take work home. I’m pursuing financial freedom and early retirement so I have more time to work on my own interests, and to be able to spend more time with family and friends.

How is your work life balance? What do you think about the corporate culture in the U.S? If you are from a different country, what is your perspective on this work-life dynamic?

90 thoughts on “Are We Overworked?

  1. Dave @ The New York Budget

    On a macro level, I think we are overworked as Americans. I think we could get the same productivity out of our workforce if we worked fewer hours and I think there are a ton of jobs created for the sake of having jobs for people that don’t generate product. Now, how to figure out a system where everyone is still making money while working less, that is probably a bit more complicated.
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    1. livingrichcheaply@gmail.com Post author

      That’s the million dollar question. I’m not sure how you make a system like that. I also think that jobs have decreased because one person might fill the role of 2 people which is forced on them requiring them to work more hours.

      Reply
    1. livingrichcheaply@gmail.com Post author

      I haven’t really worked much in US Corporate culture and I’m not sure I’m cut out for the constant rat race. I don’t want to live that way either.

      Reply
  2. Shannon @ Financially Blonde

    I definitely think we do not have enough work/life balance in the U.S. And for me personally, I have always had a difficult time of it because I know the harder I work, the more results I can get. Now that I have my own company, I definitely make sure that I make time for my family where I can, but I also think it is important for my son to see my work ethic and understand that I have to work hard to give him the life that he leads.
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    1. livingrichcheaply@gmail.com Post author

      I think working for yourself definitely is a different circumstance. At least your hard-work will benefit you and you will reap the rewards of your effort. But even then, it’s important to balance that with life outside work.

      Reply
  3. Done by Forty

    Really timely post, Andrew. I think in the post-recession workplace, the extra hours put in to make up for leaner workforces are beginning to feel normal.

    My work life balance is awesome now, but at my previous job it sucked. I regularly worked extra hours when I came home from work, and joined late night teleconferences several nights a week, to work on projects with colleagues in other countries. No bueno. Not many salaries are worth that kind of stress and commitment of time.
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    1. livingrichcheaply@gmail.com Post author

      Excellent point…I do feel that the extra hours are used to make up for leaner workforces. Employees are made to fulfill their role as well as another person’s role (who was probably laid off). Great to hear you have a good work life balance either.

      Reply
  4. Mr. Utopia

    I think anyone who doesn’t value a work-life balance is just kidding themselves deep down. Perhaps young, single folks who are just out of college and are ambitiously embarking on their career are willing/able to overwork themselves and not experience too much health detriments. I sincerely believe we, as humans, are just not designed for such long work hours and the accompanying stress. What other animal in nature does that?
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    1. livingrichcheaply@gmail.com Post author

      Definitely different when you’re young and single. I’m not sure I would be able to make the sacrifice now that I’m married and have a little baby.

      Reply
  5. Anneli @thefrugalweds

    Bless you and Tonya for posting this up! I thought I was the only one who was annoyed at that commercial. I’m working very hard – but I’m not working for STUFF (def not a Cadillac LoL)! We’re working because it’s going to get us to our ultimate goal: one day, we want to be financially free to do whatever we want!

    It makes Americans look so bad. Our quality of life is atrocious. I’d wanna be like the Europeans who take 2-month long breaks each year to recharge their batteries, connect with their spirits, and go on adventures.

    Here’s to a life well lived (devoid of Cadillacs!) LoL
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    1. livingrichcheaply@gmail.com Post author

      No you definitely aren’t the only one who was annoyed! Unfortunately, based on comments on youtube, some people loved the commercial because that is the lifestyle they aspire to.

      Reply
  6. E.M.

    Ugh, the first time I saw this commercial I turned to my boyfriend and said, “Really?!?” It aggravates me to no end. The guy came off pompous, in my opinion, and since I have no desire to own an expensive, fancy car, it didn’t appeal to me at all. I’m actually pretty jealous of people who are able to take months off of work for vacation. Our maternity leave is awful compared to other countries. It’s so sad how many people place a value on being workaholics. I wish we could all take a step back sometimes.

    My work/life balance at my last job tipped too much toward work for my liking, so I left, and now I have decent balance. I might get called in for overtime here and there, but when it’s quitting time, you better believe we are out that door. Taking a sick day is still frowned upon, though, mostly because our boss works herself to death and thinks everyone else should :/. However, it’s quite a bit less hours I have to devote to work, so I’m happy.
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    1. livingrichcheaply@gmail.com Post author

      Me neither, I don’t have the desire to own an expensive car. I know it was just a commercial, but I don’t notice him speaking to or spending time with his two young kids and his wife. It made it appear that he was going to work. All that stuff, but no time for the family. Not the lifestyle I want to lead. Great to hear that your work/life balance is much better now with your new job. And yes, I don’t know why people place such high value on being a workaholic…like your current boss who works herself to death.

      Reply
  7. C. the Romanian

    As an European, I can guarantee that people don’t stroll home after work and afford to take entire months off for vacations. Some might do it, but I am sure that some might do in just any country on the globe.

    Regarding working hard… yes, I believe I am personally overworking. It’s funny, because I am my own boss and I set my own time and one would believe that I’d work less. The good thing is that I love what I do and it’s not really a problem. Still, I am planning for some time now to reduce my work hours and mostly succeed at it – something that’s really needed now, just as you said, to spend more time with my family.
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    1. livingrichcheaply@gmail.com Post author

      I haven’t been to Europe so I can’t say. It seems like some Americans feel this way about the French and the Greeks. Being your own boss is a little different. You definitely have to work a lot, but I think you’re probably more passionate about what you do and you reap more of the rewards of your hard-work. You don’t want to work too hard and not spend time with the family, especially with a little baby.

      Reply
  8. Matt Becker

    I 100% believe in the value of hard work, but I also 100% believe in the value of balance. I think there’s a big problem when people associate hours worked with the quality of work done, though I’ll admit that I fall victim to that line of thinking as well (it’s pretty pervasive in our society). But in my vision of life, I get to spend a limited amount of focused time working very hard (and efficiently) and I have the rest of my time to do things I enjoy.
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    1. livingrichcheaply@gmail.com Post author

      I absolutely believe in both, but there seems to be a conflict, at least in our corporate culture. It’s very hard to have both. It seems that at work, if you work more efficiently, they’ll just give you more work.

      Reply
  9. Kathy

    I think that the reason some people don’t follow the European model is because we think of them as welfare states or quasi-socialistic countries, whether they are or not, because their governments provide so many benefits such as nationalized health care to all the citizens. The U.S. was founded on the rugged individualism concept rather than the nanny state so many don’t want to be like the Europeans because we feel their system equates a loss of liberty. That belief has changed over the last few decades, however, and perhaps someday we will be no different from other countries.

    Reply
    1. livingrichcheaply@gmail.com Post author

      I think many feel that way, and I also have those thoughts as well. Someone has to pay for those benefits. I can see how that type of economy might be problematic. But our corporate culture is also problematic. It doesn’t seem like it was like this in the U.S.A in the past. I guess the economy is always evolving.

      Reply
  10. DC @ Young Adult Money

    A few thoughts came to mind. First, I know there are other countries where, as a whole, people work more. Japan and Pakistan come to mind (this is not based on research but from talking to a couple people I know from each country haha, so don’t take it as science). I also know that because of the labor laws in Europe you really have to be sure you are hiring the right person. I know someone who hires people in Europe and in his words “you are hiring them for life.” If you let them go you might still have to pay them for years and years. As far as the US, I’d say our biggest problem is not so much the hours that we work but the fact that we aren’t working smarter. Why aren’t companies encouraging employees to better their work-life balance by working from home instead of spending hours a week driving to sit in a cube and go on a computer all day? Why do we encourage the long hours as a “badge of honor” when instead we should be applauding people who can produce the same output in a regular 40 hour week? It’s a culture and really the only way to fix it is to start your own biz, which comes with its own problems.
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    1. livingrichcheaply@gmail.com Post author

      I knew you would have an interesting perspective on this DC! I agree that there are problems in the European system, and I’m not necessarily advocating following that model. It does seem perplexing the contrast between the too. And I do think there are issues with how things are going here too. You ask very good questions. Unfortunately, it seems companies want to watch you and often don’t want you to work from home even if it would be more efficient. And they wouldn’t applaud someone who can produce the same output in a regular 40 hour week…well they might, but then they’d give them more work.

      Reply
  11. Anthony @ Thrifty Dad

    I definitely think we’re overworked. I can’t speak for all of Europe, but in Italy and France, the lifestyle was definitely more laid back. They work hard when they do, but they play hard too – at least in Italy, many industries have the month of August off and vacation days for just about every Saint LOL. We’re really fortunate, that here in Canada, we DO get paid maternity, parental leave and sick leave. But I think still for many, work/life balance is probably more of just a catchphrase. The truth is, many of us are working these ‘awesome’ side gigs on top of the 8 hours of week we already spend at work, which leaves us how much time with our families? And for some of us, we have to, but I don’t know how that could ever be considered a good thing. I definitely think we have it all backwards. I keep thinking about that quote “no one ever said on their death bed, ‘I wish I’d worked more’. We definitely need to work less and enjoy life more. To me, hard work doesn’t equal success, happiness does.
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    1. livingrichcheaply@gmail.com Post author

      Thanks for sharing your perspective. I’ve always thought that Canada was more similar to Europe. Interesting to hear that even there with those benefits, work/life balance is just a catchphrase. Oh and I agree with that quote.

      Reply
  12. John S @ Frugal Rules

    I don’t remember seeing this commercial, but glad that I didn’t and I’d likely just get mad. I just don’t get the desire to work yourself in to the ground, especially if it’s just to buy more stuff. I think we could stand to learn some from our European friends and implement more of a balance between work and life. I know working from home our balance isn’t the greatest, but we like to play hard as well so I think it shakes out in the end.
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    1. livingrichcheaply@gmail.com Post author

      Yea I definitely think working for yourself has pros and cons. More flexibility, but also work pretty hard since you’re the boss (well the client is probably the boss).

      Reply
  13. Amanda

    As Americans we are so overworked, just because we are trying to keep up with the person next to us. We never want to be seen as the lazy one or the one that doesn’t care enough. Having days off and relaxing is really important to doing well in the workplace.
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    1. livingrichcheaply@gmail.com Post author

      Great point, it doesn’t seem like many are doing this to keep up with others…keeping up with the Joneses. Being overworked will no doubt reduce productivity.

      Reply
  14. Laurie @thefrugalfarmer

    Right on the mark as usual, Andrew. We are living as frugally as we are so that Rick doesn’t have to work his tail off night and day anymore. He made less in 2013 than in 2012, despite a huge raise, because he just refuses to work OT every weekend now. It’s just not worth it when you don’t have time, as Joe said, to enjoy the “stuff” you’re working for. We are both very hard workers, but we want it to be done our way, and for the right reasons.
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    1. livingrichcheaply@gmail.com Post author

      Thanks Laurie! Working OT every weekend is rough…especially with a family. No point working hard to spend money on things you don’t have time to enjoy. I loved your last statement: “We are both very hard workers, but we want it to be done our way, and for the right reasons.” Couldn’t agree more.

      Reply
  15. Ryan @ Impersonal Finance

    It’s odd, Andrew. I think a lot of Americans work more and more to increase their earning power, and in turn, increase their spending. Apparently that is the goal for a lot of people. I work longer hours now because of several reasons; I’m in my 20s and have the energy and stamina to do so, I’m looking to advance in my career, but the main reason is so that I can escape the drudgery of constant work. I want to be able to afford time, plain and simple. Time off. Time to vacation. Time to spend with family, or reading, or whatever it is that I want to do, not what I have to do. My wife and I actually maintain a pretty good work life balance. We’re fortunate enough to not have to take work home with us. Our time their is our time. It doesn’t mean I don’t want more of that time though, you know?
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    1. livingrichcheaply@gmail.com Post author

      It does seem like the goal for many people. The advertisers are really good at getting that into our heads. It’s tough to maintain a good work life balance when you’re working full time and going to law school though! Good for you.

      Reply
  16. Shannon @ The Heavy Purse

    Great post, Andrew! We do wear our “overworked” status as a badge, don’t we? If we meet someone at a party and they said they had great work/life balance, we’d all wonder what was wrong with them! My husband and I work very hard but we also don’t do it so we can justify buying things we don’t need to impress others. The “I deserve it” mentality puts a lot of people in debt. I deserve financial freedom, not debt.
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    1. livingrichcheaply@gmail.com Post author

      Thanks Shannon! Very true…never heard someone at a party say that! Having a great work ethic is wonderful, but don’t do it so you can buy more things to impress others. And good point about the “I deserve it” mentality. I think that happens more often when you’re overworked…you are more likely to spend money for relaxation and convenience.

      Reply
  17. The Stoic

    Wow, this kind of depressed me. Are we no closer to understanding that consumption does not equate to happiness? Don’t get me wrong, it can bring a type of happiness but it isn’t lasting and thus perpetuates and endless series of craving that often follows us to the grave. A genuine happiness would need nothing else to sustain itself, don’t you think? For a civilized world we still have a long way to go…
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    1. livingrichcheaply@gmail.com Post author

      You are absolutely right. It is sad that so many people equate consumption with happiness.

      Reply
  18. Tonya@Budget and the Beach

    Well of course you already know how I feel about the commercial. :) For me I just need daily balance. I also don’t want to kill myself all year JUST so I could take a month off. I’d rather have a nice, peaceful year of working hard but playing hard and not necessarily FEEL like I’m so burned out I need to take a month off.
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    1. livingrichcheaply@gmail.com Post author

      I agree with you on that…I don’t want to kill myself to take a month off. I’d prefer to have a balance throughout the year.

      Reply
  19. Kim@Eyesonthedollar

    I struggle with this. My Dad was a huge workaholic, and I hated it, but then I became one myself. After spending a couple of years to turn it around, I find myself in the wonderful position of being able to work part time while still maintaining or increasing our net income due to smarter investing and spending. However, I still feel guilty sometimes that I’m not working more. Most people claim to hate working all the time, yet is sort of is a badge of honor and you would not believe some of the things people have said about my working less. Thing like “Are you enjoying the life of leisure?” or “Must be nice.” with the eye roll.

    I think anyone can learn to work smarter so that you don’t have to spend your life at work. I just don’t want my child to know me for 10 minutes in the morning and a half hour in the evening before bed. I’m super happy with working less, but I can’t seem to fully shake the guilt. I’m not sure what the solution is, but I hope I never have to go back to so many hours away from home.
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    1. livingrichcheaply@gmail.com Post author

      It’s true that we can work smarter, but sadly many companies will always look at how many hours you’re there to determine if you’re a good employee. If you are more productive, you’ll probably just get more work to do. And I hear you about people looking down on those who aren’t workaholics.

      Reply
  20. Kemkem

    Gotta say l do not miss these sorts of commercials! Are most Americans over worked ? I would say yes, most definitely. I suspect the reason for most of the people might be to support their ever growing families, not necessarily to buy more stuff. I have never understood why someone who earns minimum wage has 3,4 or more children. Who is supposed to take care of these kids? How do they get fed? Education is key. I wish l had the answers. The actor is cute though!! :0))

    Reply
    1. livingrichcheaply@gmail.com Post author

      Is it because you don’t watch T.V or because the commercials are different where you are. You’re right that many are working more hours just to survive and not to buy more things. And I agree that people need to make better decisions. I think the actor is from another show, though I don’t know where.

      Reply
        1. livingrichcheaply@gmail.com Post author

          Very interesting that the commercials there are more family oriented. I enjoy Jeopardy too!

          Reply
    1. livingrichcheaply@gmail.com Post author

      I see you have first hand experience with this. I understand not wanting your employees to slack off, but if there is never any fun at work…morale and productivity will suffer. Oh and I absolutely hate it when the boss is a hypocrite and when there are double standards…HATE IT!

      Reply
  21. anna

    I haven’t seen that commercial but it would annoy me, especially since it has ulterior motives of consumerism (which, I guess it should considering it’s a commercial). I’m pretty thankful to have a steady work-life balance – I like to work to live, and not the other way around. I remember being blown away that some European countries not only have paid maternity leave for moms, but dads, too. It’s unfortunate we don’t have that since I feel family time should be valued more.
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    1. livingrichcheaply@gmail.com Post author

      So true…I work to live, not live to work! I also wish that family time was more valued…I did take some time off to take care of my son when my wife went back to work using Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Fortunately, I had a good amount of time accrued so it was paid leave…and it was only 2 days a week for like 7 or 8 weeks so about 14 to 16 days total.

      Reply
  22. EL

    Yeah that commercial does not bode well for people who understand and want Financial independence. I am hopefully done working in 10 years. I believe freedom is the only way to live. Why stay 30 years at a employer so that they can pad their pockets year after year, and cut corners every chance they get. Its time to focus on growing the you incorporation.
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    1. livingrichcheaply@gmail.com Post author

      Nice…10 years! That’s great that you’ve been working hard on financial independence…freedom is no doubt a awesome goal which is hard to attain if you live the consumer lifestyle the commercial promotes.

      Reply
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  24. living cheap in London

    Regular reader but first time commenter….

    It must be said that I do feel for you guys & girls in America with the cultural norm for LONG working hours & SHORT holiday time.

    I work for a US company, but in the UK, so some of my friends are ex-pats, so whilst I get 6 weeks holiday a year, they are working in the UK on US working Visa’s, so they only get the US standard holiday allowance, which is of course a fair bit less.

    Other family-centric benefits in the UK are also so much better for work-life balance: maternity leave for example.

    I think this is a contributing factor to why the FI community is so much bigger in the US than it is in Europe. In some respects you have more to escape from.

    On the flipside, the UK has trended towards the US culture more in the last decade or two: more lavish spending, more consumer dept, longer working hrs expectations at many companies, so it’s far from perfect here in my humble opinion.

    Reply
    1. livingrichcheaply@gmail.com Post author

      Great to hear from you and thanks for commenting. It’s very interesting that the US employees working in the UK only get the US standard holiday allowance…I guess it’s a US company. That does seem a bit unfair. An intriguing point about the FI community in the U.S…never thought about it that way. With the recent recession and economic issues, I’m hoping the trend is not towards more hours at the same or less pay. That part is hard to control…but the lavish spending…well that is something, we, as consumers have control over.

      Reply
      1. living cheap in London

        It’s only those that have been brought to the UK on specific jobs that are in this situation. They are still paid in the US though they live in the UK, so that’s why they stay on the US benefits. I also work with many other expats who have moved to the UK on UK passports (held through ancestry or marriage) & then they are regular UK employees. A good number of these have no plans to ever return to the US to work, & holiday entitlement is often stated as one of the reasons.

        Reply
  25. Kendal @HassleFreeSaver

    Taking off the entire month of August is far more appealing to me than financing a Cadillac or cleaning an infinity pool. I used to be of the corporate mindset, believing hard work meant long workdays and weekends spent at the office. The corporate culture I came from supported the idea that 60-80 hour workweeks would get you far in the company. It’s not surprising I became burnt out and my outlook has done a complete 180. Now, I’m all about company cultures which promote work-life balance and the motto “work smarter, not harder.”
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    1. livingrichcheaply@gmail.com Post author

      Thanks for sharing your experience. While I never worked in that type of corporate culture, I know many who have or still are working in that culture. It definitely is easy to get burnt out. Glad your outlook has changed and that you have a much better work-life balance now.

      Reply
  26. Mrs Y

    We are definitely overworked. At least for most of us. We work hard and work unpaid overtime in hopes of a promotion. In some of the business units I have been, people compete to stay later in order to gain more “face time”. It is an unfortunate culture. Performance is not measured based on efficiency but the time you spend chatting with your boss. My theory has been that if you stay late at work, it only means two things. One is that you do not work efficiently enough at your job. Two, it is just too much work and they should just simply hire more employees.

    We all should work hard but we should also think about our quality of life. Work is a tool to get to a better life. All work and no play is not good.

    Reply
    1. livingrichcheaply@gmail.com Post author

      Ah yes “face time”…I think it was a general rule that you never left before the boss! You make a great point that performance is not measured by efficiency…often times being more efficient means more work but no reward so there’s a disincentive to do so.

      Reply
  27. Free to Pursue

    As a reformed Canadian workaholic, that commercial was nauseating. I was stupid enough to work over 60hr+ weeks for over a decade, a la Devil Wears Prada. It gave me nothing but poor health, high stress, insomnia and a nasty attitude towards other people who worked less. Yes, I worked on some amazing projects, but I also lost friends, it hurt my marriage and I barely enjoyed my later 20s and early 30s…other than when I went on 10-day or less fancy vacations, with the Blackberry always in tow.

    Lucky for me, I was smart enough to save and now my dollars are the ones putting in the long hours. Along with the significant reduction in stress and work hours, I regained my ability to reason and think logically…I feel smarter because I can actually take time to think!

    I now work on what I want and turn my nose up at anything that does not let me set reasonable, healthy hours. I can sleep through the night now, I smile and appreciate the little things again and I would not change it for the world.

    People tell me I look happy now….that I smile more. I guess you could say I have rediscovered my “joie de vivre.”

    I wish everyone this (re)discovery.

    Reply
    1. livingrichcheaply@gmail.com Post author

      I loved your comment! I’ve noticed that nasty attitude of many who work a lot…it’s understandable. Thanks for sharing your experience…and the consequences of the lack of work-life balance. Glad that you were smart enough to save so that you can reap the rewards of your hard-work. Many spend all of that money to relieve their stress and for convenience because time is so limited. And even more glad to hear that you have significantly reduced your stress and work hours.

      Reply
      1. Free to Pursue

        Thanks! I just finished reading “The Overworked American” by Juliet B. Schor last week. I wish I had come across her book 10 years ago. It might have helped me change my ways MUCH sooner!

        Reply
    1. livingrichcheaply@gmail.com Post author

      I definitely hope that the mentality changes here where work-life balance is more valued. Good to hear that you having a better work-lie balance nowadays. You wouldn’t have been able to work on your side hustles working 10-12 hours a day at your full time job!

      Reply
  28. Jon@2-copper-coins.com

    We are definitely overworked. We celebrate those who show up early and are the last to leave. We applaud those who work 60 hours a week and are always willing to “go the extra mile.” Never mind the fact that we probably work those 60 hours each week because we have terrible boundaries and don’t realize how much more important it is to have good relationships with our family. I’m in an occupation where working extra is expected, and I’m doing my best to work against that. I’d vote immediately for a mandated vacation for all workers, we deserve it.
    Jon@2-copper-coins.com recently posted…How to Retire EarlyMy Profile

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    1. livingrichcheaply@gmail.com Post author

      I absolutely agree with you. Instead of celebrating those who work 60 hours and are willing to go the extra mile, we should celebrate those who work smarter and more efficiently…and those who can properly balance work and family time.

      Reply
      1. Jon@2-copper-coins.com

        I don’t want to see us become a nation of people who are lazy, but I know for me personally that isn’t the case. I need to have set boundaries in place to keep me from overworking. My wife has been super helpful in reminding me of when I am getting caught up in the hamster wheel of work. Let’s begin to celebrate those with good boundaries. If you look at the statistics on stress in the American work force it is just incredulous. We are literally killing ourselves for the sake of “having a career.” Time to change the paradigm.
        Jon@2-copper-coins.com recently posted…Paying Off Debt Fast-Our $600 ChallengeMy Profile

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    1. Living Cheap In London

      @Andrew – I think you are asking the wrong question. Working less hrs would make, on average, for a happier population that had more free time to spend money. You could also find there would be less crime etc as more community cohesion with people spending more time together.

      You are not in recession because your government keep pumping “stimulus” into your economy…. even more than ours does!!

      Required viewing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ECi6WJpbzE

      Reply
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  31. No Nonsense Landlord

    I work hard now, so I do not have to work hard later. I plan on retiring in 2 years, at age 56, with over 100K in passive income. I am there now, but just want to do a 2-year prototype. I periodically write about my journey on my blog.

    Other countries they have a great government retirement plan, so they do not have to work so hard. Also they have high taxes, so there is less incentive.

    Work hard, while you can!
    No Nonsense Landlord recently posted…The Landlord Trap, Do not get caught in itMy Profile

    Reply
  32. Kathy @ SMART Living 365.com

    I’m another one of those that disliked this commercial completely. The fact that they made the cadillac a plug in grated on my nerves too! Like that would ever be the compelling reason to work your butt off and sacrifice a happier less stressed life style. Like Lilly Tomlin said, “The problem with winning the rat race is that you are still a rat.” That commercial made that very, very clear!
    Kathy @ SMART Living 365.com recently posted…To List Or Not To List…5 Reasons For And Against the List PostMy Profile

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  35. Kalen @ MoneyMiniBlog

    When I was younger I thought I needed to work as many jobs as I could physically work. I was 18 and I was overworked. My wife and my newborn daughter saw very little of me.

    So many people who were older than me tried to tell me that my family time was more important than money, but I was blinded by cash. I eventually realized that I wasn’t going to see my daughter grow up if I continued that path and I quit all but one of my jobs.

    My wife and I are now debt-free, because of those hard working years, but if I could do it over again, I would prioritize my family before money and I would be much happier.

    It was a hard lesson learned. lol
    Kalen @ MoneyMiniBlog recently posted…21 Simple Tips for Child-Proofing Your Finances and Saving You Money – Part 1My Profile

    Reply
    1. livingrichcheaply@gmail.com Post author

      Yea, cash can be blinding and people will overwork themselves to accumulate it. A little baby definitely brings some perspective into your life. Glad that you guys are now debt-free and that with more time with your family, you’re much happier.

      Reply
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