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Women, feel as if you are working harder than you were a few years ago?

Well, it turns out, it’s not just that you’re a few years older or you feel more tired  — it turns out you actually are working more hours.

A recent study of five-year census data (from 2017) by Mixbook, has revealed that Colorado women are working harder than ever – and men, well, not so much.

The study documented that Colorado women work 10.4 hours more per year than they did five years ago. Men however have decreased their work hours by 26 hours over a year.

When compared nationally, American women have increased their working hours by eight hours per week, while men have taken the opposite approach, cutting back by 14 hours of work time.

There may be several factors contributing to these changes; the pandemic has undoubtedly played a significant role. Work styles changed for so many: the adoption of work-from-home and hybrid work models, which have made it easier for mothers to work more while spending less time commuting.

But Colorado women were moderate in their work hour increases compared to other states: Here are the top five states with increased work hours for women over a five-year period:

1. Idaho: 52 more hours per year.

2. Montana: 31.2 more hours per year.

3. Connecticut: 31.2 more hours per year.

4. Florida: 26 more hours per year.

5. Maine: 20.8 more hours per year.

Infographic showing the number of increased working hours by state

When it comes to vacation time, Americans have far less vacation allowance than other countries (10 days, compared to a world average of 20), and they want more. A separate survey of 1,150 employees found that if they were given more vacation days to bring them up on par with the world average, half think they should be entitled to back pay for the 10-day shortfall. This would amount to approximately $5,775 over the past calendar year for the average employee.

According to experts, maintaining a balance between work and leisure activities can help reduce stress levels and prevent burnout. “Taking time to be creative, engage in hobbies or leisure activities outside of work can help us recharge and reset, and allow us to return to work with renewed energy and focus,” says Culture and Growth Director at Mixbook Kim Colucci.

She recommends employers be flexible; “the flexibility to, for example, choose to schedule a creative or leisurely activity during the workday.”

The same survey also uncovered other interesting findings when it comes to achieving an optimum work/life balance.:

  • 62 percent think workers should be guaranteed a company retreat or trip each year.
  • Two in three say employers should be forced to ensure employees take state holidays off work (most of which are currently normal working days).
  • 80 percent say employers should allow one or two paid days off for employees getting married without taking up vacation allowance.
  • Finally, 67 percent of managers believe a ‘duvet day‘ would help worker’s productivity (a day off from work that an employee can take without prior notice, typically for the purpose of resting, recharging, and focusing on their mental and emotional well-being).

Given how hard residents of Chaffee county work, those findings may be wishful thinking. But then again, taking the time for an iced coffee once a week, or an occasional soak in one of our famous hot springs might not be a bad thing.

Featured image; Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort. Courtesy image.