When I talk with folks about how many hours a week they work, I like to get a sense of what is “normal”. The challenge here of course is how do you define “normal”. Normal typically means what MOST people experience.
I think that definition is limited and deceiving in the context of workaholism. For example, if you hang out with a group of guys who regularly drinks a six pack of beer every night, that might be “normal” to you.
If you work in a company where everyone is pulling all-nighters and working every weekend, that might seem “normal” to you based on your experience or the company culture.
However, there is a difference between normal, reasonable, and healthy. So, while working 60+ hours a week on a regular basis might seem normal because everyone around you is doing it, it’s certainly not healthy. Is it reasonable though? Well, that’s completely up to you. If your priorities and values are wrapped up in your salary and title, and you have to work that many hours in return for big bonuses and promotions, then yes, it’s completely reasonable.
But, if you value your wife and kids more than your paycheck, I’d say not only is it not healthy, but it’s also unreasonable to work 60+ hours a week.
It all comes down to your values and priorities. If my company offered me 1 million dollars a year in exchange for 80 hours a week of work, I’d say no thank you. Having 1 million dollars (actually about 600K after taxes) isn’t worth ending up in divorce or separation from my family. I wouldn’t have time for my health, my friends, my family, or anything else in my world that I value just as much if not more than my paycheck. I’d end up with a bag of money, and I’d be standing all by myself at the end of the day…empty and devoid of LIFE. That’s not reasonable, regardless of the amount of money offered. I’d say NO THANK YOU!
So, what about you? What is normal, healthy, and reasonable to you?