A community without a healthy work life balance has less time for family and social relationships, less time for recreation, is more stressed and has a higher incidence of ill health. Long work hours also impact on the quality of our culture and sense of community.
Issues surrounding long work hours:
- time outside of work builds a range of skills and development of other talents and provides the opportunity for social and community connection - e.g. volunteering, sports coaching etc
- many essential community services are provided by volunteers, especially in regional areas
- longer working hours mean less time to build connections in communities
- more time at work means our social connections are now often through work
- long hours are turning communities into dormitory suburbs
- longer working hours mean less time for healthy pursuits such as sport and recreational activities.
According to The Relationships Forum Australia (RFA), long and unpredictable working hours are making workers unhealthy and putting their relationships under pressure. A change from consistent patterns of life outside work to atypical work patterns is associated with dysfunctional family environments.
Read RFA's full report 'An unexpected Tragedy - Evidence for the connection between working hours and family breakdown in Australia' (RFA (2007)).