Make other plans – Today is national Go Home On Time Day

Go Home On Time Day is a national initiative which encourages employers and employees to raise awareness of the importance of a healthy work-life balance.

The Australia Institute has also published a report, 9 to 5.30, which provides new snapshot of unpaid overtime and the work life balance in Australia.

This year Go Home On Time Day launched an Unpaid Overtime Calculator, which gives individuals a sense of how much unpaid overtime they’re doing.

Thousands of Australians have already used the new Calculator App.

“Increasingly, ‘work-life balance’ is more of an aspiration than a reality for many Australians,” Senior Economist at The Australia Institute, Matt Grudnoff said.

“Australians now donate $128 billion in unpaid overtime annually to their employers.

“Our data shows an increase in workers wanting to work less hours and a decrease in those looking for more. So there seems to be a growing desire for more leisure or family time in their work-life balance.

Table 1: Overwork/underwork survey results (2015, 2013 and 2012)

Year of survey Wants to work more hours Wants to work less hours
2015 18% 33%
2013 24% 28%
2012 21% 26%

Note: 2012 and 2013 are the years for which data is available

The study also looked at ‘polluted time’ – where work bleeds into life. Smartphone, tablet and wireless technology continues to make drawing a line between work and personal time harder.

“The pressure of always carrying your work with you in your pocket can compound stress and have negative effects on mental health and productivity.

“Part of this year’s go home on time day is a call for employers to consider steps which will help their staff enjoy their weekend, such as disabling work email servers,” Grudnoff said.

National Go Home on Time Day was launched by The Australia Institute in 2009 as a light hearted way to recognise that life doesn’t need to revolve around work and a balance between work and life is important.

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