PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — If you work full time, you’re used to the 9-5 grind. But, what’s the ideal work week?
“Maybe like 30 hours, so you get more time with your family,” said Jose Torres of Williamstown, New Jersey.
“50 to 60 is reasonable,” said Erin Bange of Philadelphia.
Fellow Philly resident, Tashia Webb said she’d like to “have off on Mondays,” while Keith Gornish of Graduate Hospital said, “I think it depends on the person.”
In America, the average full time worker spends about 47 hours a week on the job.
“That’s surprising. I thought it would be less than that,” said Torres.
And it should be, at least according to researchers at the Australian National University. They say 39 hours spent working each week optimizes overall health.
“It becomes an issue for the individual…What do you value?”
Chad Staller is the President and Senior Economist for the Center for Forensic Economic Studies. He says the reduction in time would cost the average hourly worker about 15 percent of their pay. If you make $50,000, that’s about $7,500 per year.
“An economic decision would be, I need that money. But, again, life is short and leisure time is valued,” explained Staller.
And while it will cost hourly workers a portion of their pay-check, he believes it could benefit business overall.
“We could stimulate the economy by hiring additional people. The other factor is happier, more productive employees.”
Maybe not all employees. The study found that because women tend to do more work around the house, their healthy limit was 34 hours per week, while a man’s was up to 47.
“I know there’s a lot of guys that take care of their kids at home,” said Torres.
“I think that reflects on our society and different expectations for women and men,” said Bange. Webb disagrees, “We have to deal with children, we’ve got a little more stress. I’ll take it.”
Gender differences, aside, how does America compare to other countries? The U.S. Ranks 17 out of 38 countries, in terms of the longest workweek. Mexico earns the top spot, with the most hours logged, while Germans get away with the least amount of time spent on the job.