Hairdresser Jodie Thornton works long hours and loves every minute of it.
Hairdresser Jodie Thornton works long hours and loves every minute of it. Scottie Simmonds

Bundy's working hard for its money

BUNDABERG workers are giving Dolly Parton something to think about after a NewsMail poll revealed many are working far longer hours than just “Nine to Five”.

Hairdresser Jodie Thornton said she usually worked about 45 hours a week - about seven more than the national standard - and sometimes went into the salon on her days off to help ease the workload.

“Each hairdresser does five to six days a week, and when we're busy we end up doing a lot of overtime,” she said.

The senior stylist at That Salon said she would love to have more free time so she could spend time with her partner, but work came first.

“You have to really love hairdressing to do it, and I do love my job.”

Studies by the Australia Institute and Tourism Australia show that we are working the longest hours of any developed country in the world.

While the benchmark is set at a 38-hour working week, many people now consider a 40-hour week the norm and do not blink at doing unpaid overtime.

Organisational psychologist Dr Cameron Newton, a senior researcher with the Queensland University of Technology, said long hours would eventually take their toll.

“Even if you love what you do, you'll eventually find yourself in a deficit of health and wellbeing,” he said. “Humans are not designed to work 12 hours a day, seven days a week.”

Worryingly, the news is even worse for people who don't like their jobs, as they may suffer physical side effects much sooner.

Dr Newton said he had measured the heart rates of workers during a trial and saw a cumulative effect of stress.

“If you hate your job, it will come much sooner,” he said.

Bundaberg mum Cathy Kerr said she had been through the strain of working long hours and was now grateful to have a job that allowed her to leave the office at 5pm every day.

“It was a definite attraction to the job,” the Wide Bay Australia purchaser said.

“I did a lot of years working seven days and night fill, but now it's great - my employers are fantastic.”

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