The Never-Ending Work Week

September 6, 2011  |  

(The Daily Beast) — We know too well the pain of unemployment. Almost 14 million Americans this Labor Day can’t find work. At the same time – and as hard as it may be to believe – this country is also experiencing rampant overemployment: men and women are begging for relief, as they’re working 55, 60, 65 hours a week, and are totally stressed about finding time for the families they love.  With a few creative pen strokes, corporate and government leaders could fix this paradox and help relieve the strain on millions of working families afflicted by unemployment or overemployment. How do we shift the work from those who have too much to those who have too little?  First, organizations need to wake up and see the costs of overemployment. They need to start at the top. My not-yet-50-year-old brother, president of the division of a major North American distribution company, recently stepped away because his family time was crushed and had been for years. He and his colleagues and those on the rungs below were not just stressed periodically – during hectic sales or strategy, merger, or reporting periods – but chronically, week  in and weekend out.

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