In touch : NZ managers work longer

Kiwi managers don’t work as hard as their Australian counterparts, but are putting in longer hours than managers in economically booming Ireland.
Over 5000 managers from 17 countries were questioned about their working hours for an international survey by recruitment company Robert Half – and results show 17 percent of New Zealand managers work three weekends or more month.
Across the Tasman, 21 percent of managers said they work three weekends or more month, while in Ireland only five percent give up their weekends that often.
New Zealanders and Australians also aren’t as good at switching off from phone calls and email during the weekend. Only 20 percent of Australians and 26 percent of New Zealanders always switch off their work phones and emails during the weekend – the Irish maintain much firmer work-life boundary, with 55 percent of managers always doing so.
The Irish also work fewer hours during the week, with only three percent saying they work more than 55 hours week, compared with 13 percent of Kiwi managers working these hours and 11 percent of Australians doing so.
Of the three countries, New Zealand managers reported the largest increase in working hours over the past five years, with 46 percent saying they are working at least five hours more week, compared with 45 percent of Australians and 22 percent of Irish managers.
The main reason for working longer hours is the same in all three countries – the managers had taken on more responsibility and are feeling more pressure.
In Auckland, Robert Half Finance and Accounting division director Megan Alexander says the attitude of New Zealand managers reflects the changed business environment.
“A few years back our results would have been much more aligned to those of Ireland,” she says. “But New Zealand’s economy has been growing at the same time as it has been facing an increasing skills shortage meaning people are working harder just to get the work done.”

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