American 40 Hour Work Week Atypical

Although technology was supposed to reduce the American work week, there has been an actual increase in working hours with more Americans working upwards to 60 hours a week. Blaming technology alone would be easy, but according to the Amen Clinics it is not the only reason. It is true that more Americans now deal with tasks that traditionally were relegated to technicians. For example, more workers perform their own basic computer troubleshooting. 

Additionally, email and other forms of electronic communication are big villains in regards to more work rather than less. After all, people spend more time communicating in writing or via video than they did in previous decades when slower forms of communication meant more people taking the time to communicate more efficiently. For example, some people carry out entire discussions via email rather than by using a much faster mode such as calling one another. And how people respond to chat is also to blame. A quick phone call can take minutes over chat even though instant messaging was designed to make conversations faster.

But, technology, as pointed out by Gizmodo this week, is not the only reason Americans are still working 40 plus hours a week. There are simply no laws protecting American workers to the same degree that workers in countries that have smaller work weeks are protected. In other countries, workers often have longer work days but with fewer days in a work week and more breaks and vacation time.

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