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How many hours do you typically work in a week? (Private sector only)

  1. 40 to 50 hours a week

    12 vote(s)
  2. > 50 hours a week but <= 60 hours a week

    6 vote(s)
  3. > 60 hours a week but <= 70 hours a week

    2 vote(s)
  4. > 70 hours a week

    1 vote(s)
  1. Jul 2, 2013 #1


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    Hi everyone. This poll is directed to those who are currently working full-time in the private sector. I am curious about the number of hours you typically work during a week, one of many indicators of the "work-life" balance.

    Please feel free to reply with any additional comments any of you may have on the work environment.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 2, 2013 #2


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    BTW, I want to emphasize that I am asking how many hours do you typically work in a week. There are times that each of us may have to pull in the occasional overtime hours to complete a project or to meet a deadline.
  4. Jul 2, 2013 #3


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    40-50 as a software engineer in Silicon Valley. About 50% of that is from home. Depending on what is going on, I may log in during the evenings and weekends to do some work, but this is by choice, not required. The managers in my group treat us like adults, and they know we are responsible enough to work effectively without being micromanaged or needing to be physically in the office all day.
  5. Jul 2, 2013 #4


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    I don't really work in the 'private' sector any more. When I did though, I logged 70 hours average, and thus my main reason for leaving that sector and going into a government job.

    Edit: I worked in the financial sector doing stuff that gave me a really bad headache.
  6. Jul 2, 2013 #5


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    I'm currently working for terrible wages at a data research/mining/analysis firm. I work in wireless real-estate for now, though I'm not a B.S or higher holder (still in college).

    I work 50-60, though when I started it was 80+

    Now that I'm heading back to school, I will likely need more time for school + this job so I've slowly been working a bit less/requesting more time off to test the waters.

  7. Jul 2, 2013 #6
    I work roughly 40 hours a week doing maintenance on a 1 MW generator that runs off of landfill gas and I go to college 15-18 credit hours a semester.
  8. Jul 2, 2013 #7
    My boss basically said to everyone: Don't work for more than 40 hours, it will make you tired, you will be less efficient and you will make more mistakes. Also, make sure you use all your holidays.
  9. Jul 2, 2013 #8


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    What are "holidays"?

    We get Thanksgiving day only, Christmas day only, 4th of July, labor day, memorial day.

    5 days off. That's it, and they come out of our personal days whether we like it or not!
  10. Jul 2, 2013 #9
    I work 40 hours a week as a developer. I could actually use extra hours to keep working on projects. I hate going home without finishing or getting to what i deem to be a good stopping point.

    When friday comes around and i'm getting close to 40 hours i just go home for the weekend because overtime has to be approved and it looks bad on my team leader.
  11. Jul 2, 2013 #10
    You should have an option for under 40, many people work (are in office) less than 40 even if paid full time.

    By the way - this not a comment about how much work people actually do when in office vs email and web, etc, which is a full topic on its own.
  12. Jul 2, 2013 #11

    jim mcnamara

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    Staff: Mentor

    I'm on call 24x7 - since 2001. Average 50 hours per week at office, another 10+ at home. UNIX system programmer/sysadmin.
  13. Jul 2, 2013 #12
    My typical work week as a medical physicist is 50 to 55 hours.
  14. Jul 2, 2013 #13


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    I was moved into a different group at work, so for the past 9 months it has been 40-45 hour weeks. The new group has not-so-interesting work in general, but my project is fantastic. The previous 50+ months the average was closer to 65-70. Had the economy been great I would have looked for a new job (my family wanted me too!) but the risk was not worth it to me - the last hired is often the first laid-off.

  15. Jul 2, 2013 #14
    Depends on whether I'm studying for exams and whether the federal government is doing anything outrageously stupid or not.

    Recently I've just been putting in 40 hours a week, but it's clear my work is suffering for it, and it will go back to 50-60 in 2 weeks, max.
  16. Jul 2, 2013 #15


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    When I was working as an optician, I could maybe manage 40-50 hours per week. When I was working in the antique/auctioneer field, it was well over 50 hours a week, and when I was consulting for the pulp and paper industry, I was often working over 80 hours a week. Different jobs can skew your work requirements - sometimes a LOT. When my wife would holler down (from the balcony) "Are you EVER coming to bed, it was clear to me that programming/consulting was a bit much.

    Good luck.
  17. Jul 2, 2013 #16


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    50 < T < 70 would be a better range for me. There's a lot of after 5 work.
  18. Jul 2, 2013 #17
    My company targets 40 hrs. Those on salary like myself sometimes need to work longer hours for special things, but the expectation is you get your stuff done during a normal work week. Overtime is managed differently for hourly (as mandated by law).
  19. Jul 3, 2013 #18
    I work about 50 hours a week as a electrical/software engineer in aerospace. When a project gets to crunch time that can easily shoot into the 60-70 hour a week range for a month or two (tends to happen about once a year or year and a half).
  20. Jul 3, 2013 #19
    When I was an IC designer in a product group with a big company, it was about 50 hours a week except for 70 hours for a month or two before tapeout (project submission to fabrication) and often 80 or more for that last week or so. This was followed by a week were we didn't show up at all and then a couple of 40 hour weeks while we recovered until the pressure started rising again. We had tapeouts about every nine months.

    When I was with a startup, it was at least 70 hours a week constantly. That burned me out really bad. I didn't even last two years. EVERY single engineer who delivered the company's first product quit.

    Now I work in a research setting. It's more like 45 hours a week or so, steadily rising as tapeout approaches, with maybe one or two 70 hour weeks to meet the deadline. Not that different from the product group but the reduced pressure really makes a difference.
  21. Jul 3, 2013 #20
    That sucks! There is a legal minimum here and I guess in most of Europe of 20 (?) days, free to spend. I also have mandatory holidays in the week of Christmas (yes, the entire week), new years day, Easter and some other fixed holidays. I still have 4 weeks of holidays left for the rest of the year.

    In my previous life I didn't mind working like crazy, but knowing that I could take a 3 week break any time I want was, well... nice...

    Come to Europe! Land(s) of normal life, normal income, and normal working hours! Also, land(s) of reasonably priced universities and health insurance.
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