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How much overtime is too much and is work life balance just a fairy tale?

by Gayle Beveridge (follow)
Gayle Beveridge
Lifestyle (334)      Work (103)      Employment (14)     

Workers (Image by janniechien via morgueFile)

So often these days I see job ads promising work life balance. I hear it from managers, in meeting rooms, and it is bandied about by recruitment agents. You'd would think this heralded an age of, well, work life balance but does it?

I suspect it is more rhetoric than reality. What do you think, is there work life balance and how much overtime is too much?

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Top Answers
It all depends on who you work for.They can say all they like about 'balance'...but sometimes it really is hard to find it.
It deadlines need to be met and only a certain person can do that work.
My opinion is that once you cross the 50 hrs a week mark, your on a tightrope!
40 hours is enough for anyone.
P.S. jonaj is now vuroz
by jonaja
I agree - more rhetoric than reality.
by Vee
I agree that a work life balance is hard to find, but I also believe it's possible.
I think it depends very much on the job, the culture within the company you work for, and the person doing the job.
If overtime is paid or you get TOIL then you might be happier doing more than if it is just all wrapped up in your salary.
On the other hand, if you are a salaried manager and you can see the work needs doing, then generally you will just get on and do it, however long it takes.
As for work life balance - I object to this phrase. Surely your work is part of your life? Trying to separate the two like that seems artificial to me. If you think of your work as quite separate from your life then something ain't right....
As a salaried manager I have always felt I was paid for the job not the hours and so expected to work over if that's what it took until my hours consistently became 60 or more per week, and evenings and weekends at home just a memory. Last week this was rectified with a resignation and I'm disappointed that it ended up being the only viable alternative. This same company is now advertising that it fosters work life balance - HA! So in my opinion all rhetoric, no reality.
Wow! Gayle, what a drastic action you had to take to get your 'work/life' balance!
But do you feel the better for it? Are you looking for new job now?
by donjo
I worked probably nearly 90% of Saturdays' O/T in my 45 years! There was one time I worked F/T, plus Saturday & Sunday, 4 hours' each. I was fit & able, & one could do that before Unions interfered & stopped the ability to work as much O/T as was on offer! Money was needed, so it was an easy way to obtain it!

I totally stopped O/T eventually about 5 years before I retired. I decided that a 'weekend-off' was a good thing. Kids' had finished School, so no financial 'need' any longer.

It was so enjoyable to go & have a relaxing coffee & read the paper on Saturday morning; a NEW experience for me!

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