Americans are quite overworked; in fact, America is the most overworked developed nation in the world. People are ready to work for 12-16 hours a day often even without overtime pay just to keep their workplace: according to the International Labour Organization, Americans work 137 hours per year more than Japaneses, 260 more hours than British, and 499 more hours than French workers. And experts are sounding the alarm.
It is not a secret that the most demanded workers are young people. They mainly have strong health and are extremely employable. But as soon as the youngsters have to care about their parents or become parents themselves, companies oftentimes pass them off to other businesses. And this model of winning at all cost leads to the degradation of intelligent society.
We are losing women. America is a country where girls outpace boys in development: they are more successful at schools and universities, more sociable and adaptable. But in our crazy work world there are only between ten and twenty percent of women in senior management positions. Far too many of them discover that their bosses do not want to give them an opportunity to keep work-family balance. Denial of request to work part time, relocations or layoffs will scare off even the most ambitious and talented of women. That what look like “women’s problems” is, in reality, the problems of an obsolete labor system.
Let’s speak frankly – this is the “Mad men” era. But men leave work as often as women. The central human resources problem is not gender, scientists believe, but rather a culture of overwork.
Fortunately, the good news is that both men and women are beginning to assert their rights. For example, men ask for paternity leave, women try to work at home. The U.S. President Barack Obama proposed to expand access to child care in next year’s budget. One of the central aspects of Hillary Clinton’s campaign is child care and a foundation for working families. Senator Kelly Ayotte advocates for assisting some family caregivers. Our world has changed for the better over the past half a century. So why could not our next step be to claim equal rights to care?