Americans working at least 50 hours per week are feeling burnt out

Americans working long hours are burning out.

Their health is suffering and they’re missing out on time with loved ones. In a cruel twist, the extra time at work isn’t alleviating their financial insecurities, according to a new study from Sleep Junkie provided exclusively to Yahoo Finance.

Three in 5 workers who log 50 to 59 hours per week reported feeling overworked, the survey found, while more than three-quarters of those who work 60 hours or more said the same.

The survey looked at 1,036 respondents who consistently worked 40 hours or more a week, far higher than the national average of 34.4 hours worked per week, according to the most recent report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

SANTA ANA, CA - OCTOBER 15: Jelani Warren catches some sleep after a late night volunteering with Forge54 while while others work around him. A group of about 100 professionals and students are donating 54 straight hours of their time to help the nonprofit Illumination Foundation in Santa Ana on Saturday, October  15, 2016. They are creating mobile apps, video, graphics and other multiple media for the foundation that helps the homeless in Orange County. (Photo by Mindy Schauer/Digital First Media/Orange County Register via Getty Images)
SANTA ANA, CA: Jelani Warren catches some sleep after a late-night volunteering with Forge54 while others work around him. (Photo: Mindy Schauer/Digital First Media/Orange County Register via Getty Images)

No family or me time

Time — namely, not having enough of it — is the heart of the issue for overworked Americans.


This has placed American workers in a circular argument: Two-thirds report having to work longer hours to make ends meet, but doing so leaves little free time to spend with family or enjoy leisure.

Seven in 10 of those working 50+ hour weeks supported dependents, and 92% said they worked long hours to do so, the survey found. Almost 4 in 5 said those hours cut into quality time with their children.

The more hours Americans work, the less time they have for themselves, too.

Only 2 in 5 working 60 hours or more said they had enough free time, and just half reported they had time for relaxation and recreation.

(Photo: Sleep Junkie)
(Photo: Sleep Junkie)

Work and health

Burning the midnight oil often causes physical and emotional exhaustion, too, the survey found. Four out of 5 of those who worked at least 50 hours a week said the pace was unsustainable.

Worker stress also can lead to chronic absences at work and even workplace accidents. One in 4 people working more than 50 hours a week said they made a potentially hazardous mistake at work because of stress or fatigue.

The psychological and physical problems of burned-out employees also cost the U.S. economy, to the tune of $300 billion a year, according to the American Institute of Stress.

But half of respondents in the Sleep Junkie survey who worked 50+ hours per week were unaware of the link between long work hours and the adverse effects on health and well-being.

No financial benefits from long hours

Long days and nights spent at work also don’t come with the guarantee of a greater reward come payday. Those who worked the most also agonized the most over money, according to the findings.

More than three-quarters of those working 60+ hours worried about bills at least once a month. More than a quarter stressed over them every day.

Three in 5 respondents working 50+ hours resorted to multiple jobs to earn the income they needed or wanted. Two-thirds of all respondents said working long hours was a necessity.

Sadly, there’s no rest for the weary.

Seven in 10 respondents working 50+ hours expect to keep their current schedules for the foreseeable future. Only 29% see their long work hours as temporary.

Stephanie is a writer for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @SJAsymkos.

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