News: Longer work hours linked to declining happiness among young employees: Study

Employment Landscape

Longer work hours linked to declining happiness among young employees: Study

Workers aged 34 or below generally find the highest contentment when their weekly workload falls within the range of 15 to 40 hours.
Longer work hours linked to declining happiness among young employees: Study

Despite the advocacy by several leaders for longer work hours, especially among young workers, studies reveal their detrimental effects. A report released by a state-run organisation highlighted that longer working hours negatively impact the happiness of young South Koreans.

According to the study published in the journal of the Korea Labour Institute, employees aged 34 or younger tend to be most content when working between 15 to 40 hours per week. 

Park Ju-sang, a researcher at the Korea Labour & Society Institute, utilised data from the Korean Employment Information Service. He categorised South Korean employees aged 34 or younger into groups based on their weekly working hours: under 15 hours, 15-40 hours, 41-52 hours, and over 52 hours.

The research found that 59.4 per cent of those working 15-40 hours a week reported satisfaction with their life, while the satisfaction rate dropped to 50.4 per cent for those working 41-52 hours, and further to 45.4 per cent for those clocking over 52 hours.

Interestingly, the group working the least, under 15 hours a week, had a satisfaction rate of 52.3 per cent, indicating that working fewer hours doesn't guarantee a happier life.

However, as work hours increased, so did dissatisfaction levels. The report noted that 7.4 per cent of those in the groups with the shortest working hours expressed dissatisfaction with life. In comparison, 13.9 per cent of those working 41-52 hours a week and 17 per cent of those working longer hours felt dissatisfied.

Park emphasised, "After accounting for factors such as education, job type, and socio-demographics, our findings consistently show the impact of work hours on employees' happiness. We observed a clear trend of decreasing happiness with longer working hours, especially among those in regular jobs."

The study also highlighted other influential factors on happiness, including marriage, education, and parental wealth. Married individuals, graduates from Seoul area universities, and those with wealthier parents tended to report higher levels of happiness. 

Interestingly, regarding jobs, individuals working in the greater Seoul region showed lower levels of happiness compared to those employed elsewhere.

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Topics: Employment Landscape, #Wellbeing, #HRTech, #HRCommunity

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