If the 40-hour workweek seems like it’s dragging on longer than it should, it probably is. A recent poll published by Gallup reveals full-time adult employees have reported working an average 47 hours per week, nearly an entire work day longer than a standard five day, 9-to-5 workweek would entail.
The poll, which involved a random sample of more than 1,000 adults in the U.S., found half of those surveyed reported working more than 40 hours a week, with nearly 40 percent saying they work more than 50 hours.
While the U.S. Department of Labor does not specify what constitutes full-time employment under the Fair Labor Standards Act, 40 hours is widely regarded as the standard for full-time status.
The Gallup poll also found workers often put in more hours if they are salaried rather than hourly. The study found salaried workers put in 49 hours per week on average, five hours more than full-time workers paid on an hourly basis.
Despite the shrinkage of the number of full-time workers in the U.S. since the 2007 recession, Gallup found hours worked by full-time workers have remained steady at 47 hours per week. But Gallup argues employees are not necessarily suffering as a result of the longer workweek.
“Highly engaged workers who log well over 40 hours will still have better overall well-being than actively disengaged workers who clock out at 40 hours,” Gallup workplace management scientists Jim Harter and Sangeeta Agrawal said. “In other words, hours worked matters, but it's not all that matters.”
The poll was conducted Aug. 7-10 and has an error rate of 4 percentage points.