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The Dangerous Allure of the 70-Hour Workweek Case Study

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Updated: Dec 30th, 2019

Problem Identification

In everything that one sets to do, there is need to ensure that it is done in the expected manner. Acting within expectation is what defines an accomplished worker from an ineffective individual.

Because of the increasing demand in every sector of the economy, there is always the need to work beyond the planned timeline. It would be appropriate that the workforce appreciates the importance of this.

However, a crop of individuals has developed a character that is very dangerous to their well-being. These individuals work in excess of 70 hours per week. Some go beyond this to work for about 100 hours a week.

Hewlett and Luce (2006) note with concern that some go overboard to work for a record 120 hours a week. Although it is a sure way of becoming rich, the practice comes with some serious consequences.

Such individuals, irrespective of their gender, put their health at risk. Cunningham (2000) cautions that taking much time without rest and exercise makes the body vulnerable to various health complications.

Besides this, an individual who does not allocate his time appropriately between work and family would create an environment where their families would lose touch with him or her. Another concern that this current trend has is the inability to manage other social duties.

Individuals who take almost all their available time on career related issues may find themselves being social misfits in the society. Cunningham (2000) observes that they may excel in their offices and workplaces but may not be in a position to respond to other social concerns.

Situation Analysis

The current generation worker force is industrious and is always determined to accomplish duties at hand before the set time so that they get into other duties. However, the situation as it stands now is very dangerous. Many executives are working beyond the normal set time.

This trend cuts across professions and sectors of the economy. As one climbs the career ladder, the need to do more than the normal duty increases. It is understandable that the current corporate world is placing a lot of pressure on few selected individuals in their quest for a leaner workforce.

However, it is not appropriate that one is allocated duties that would completely make him or her lack time at all for the family. Giddens (2009) says that some duties would turn an individual into a zombie. One works without the realization that there is a family to take care of.

This has seen many families break. Some spouses may not withstand a scenario where they are not given any time with their partners. This explains in part the reason behind the recent rise of single parenthood, especially among the corporate men and women. Children who find themselves in such situations grow up to be very irresponsible. They lack parental care that every child would require for a normal growth.

Other than the social consequences, one exposes himself or herself to many health risks by taking much of his or her time on various duties related to their career. As Hewlett and Luce (2006) report, some people would work in excess of 120 hours in a week.

On average, this leaves an individual with approximately six hours per day to commute, eat, and socialize. This on average leaves an individual with about two to three hours to sleep. As Andrzej and Buchaman (2007) observe, it is important that an individual sleep for at least six hours a day.

Taking two hours to sleep would make one develop serious health complications. Coupled with the fact that in some of the cases an individual may take most of the time seated, one would be exposed to both physical and mental dangers. If the body were not given time to relax and exercise, then it would fatigue and develop complications that would be avoided if proper measures were taken.


It is recommended that one should make an effort to ensure that his or her responsibility is undertaken within the right time and with precision that is expected. However, it would not be appropriate if one engages in duties that cause total neglect to the family.

One’s career is important but it should not be overemphasized at the expense of the family. There should be a balance between the two. Below are some of the ways in which one can ensure that he or she strikes a balance between social issues and job related duties.

Planning is the main tool that an individual can use to ensure that he or she balances social duties and work. An individual should take time to lay down duties before him or her.

The individual can then look at the time available to achieve the obligations. The individual should allocate time to each work in a way that would still allow him or her to obtain some time to be back to the family and meet some other social obligations.

The planning would help an individual know the amount of time that would be required to meet various obligations. After making the plan, it is highly advisable that such an individual strictly sticks to it so that no obligation is given more time than was planned. Although this may force one to take lesser time at workplace, it is the only way of managing the attention needed at work and at home.

Taking duties that are within one’s scope is another technique that can be applied to manage time. It is good to be ambitious. However, there is need for one to understand his or her scope. It is important that an individual appreciate his or her limits beyond which working will be strenuous.

After this realization, it would be necessary that the individual take duties that are within his scope. It would help in avoiding circumstances where one is forced to work beyond the limits, forcing one to shelve time that would be spent with the family.

The family is just as important as the career. As one aspires to achieve the best out of his or her career, it is important to note that the family also has a place. Neglecting one’s career would be dangerous as it may lead to poor yields, a fact that may lead to consequences that one could not have prepared for at work place.

Similarly, assuming the family would lead to lose of touch between the parent and the family. Children need parental attention in order to develop normally. If this is reality is not identified, such children may develop to be irresponsible individuals in society who are not what the parents would have expected them to be.


Andrzej, A., & Buchaman, A. (2007). Organizational Behavior. London: Prentice Hall.

Cunningham, B. (2000). The stress management sourcebook. Los Angeles: Free Press.

Giddens, A. (2009). The consequences of modernity. Malden: Blackwell Publishers.

Hewlett, A., & Luce, C. (2006). Extreme Jobs: The Dangerous Allure of the 70-Hour Workweek. Harvard Business Publishing Corporation.

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IvyPanda. 2019. "The Dangerous Allure of the 70-Hour Workweek." December 30, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-dangerous-allure-of-the-70-hour-workweek/.


IvyPanda. (2019) 'The Dangerous Allure of the 70-Hour Workweek'. 30 December.

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