Israel has quickly developed into a major modern Western economy – and with that comes the problems endemic to modern economies, such as overwork. According to a study released by the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), Israelis are working longer hours and are more dedicated to their jobs than ever – to the extent that over a third bring their work problems home with them. And many question whether the they are on the right path.
According to the study, which covered how workers felt at the end of 2016, 36 percent of all Israeli workers have a difficult time reconciling their work and home lives, because they have to work late or take work home. Among those age 35-44 – the most likely group to be working in Israel’s high-tech economy – 44 percent were having a hard time reconciling the two. 71 percent of women and 57 percent of men had mixed feelings about their jobs – enjoying the professional aspects of it, but protesting the overwork and pressure – and that pressure grows as workers grow older; among 20-24 year olds, 44 percent had mixed feelings about their job, compared to 70 percent of those age 45-64. Those mixed feelings were much greater among college graduates, compared to blue collar workers who did not go to college – with 77 percent of the former, and only 23 percent of the latter, having those mixed feelings.
Among all workers, 13 percent felt that they were asked to do things that violated their personal values; of workers in specific occupations, 17 percent of salespeople felt they were asked to do things they disagreed with, compared to 10 percent of college graduates. 41 percent of workers felt they had to hide their feelings at one time or another – 45 percent of them men, 37 percent women.
Workers also feel they are being forced to work overtime, like it or not. 41 percent of all workers said they were unhappy about having to take work home, or deal with work issues at home. 56 percent of men, and 41 percent of women said they had a difficult time getting time off during the day to take care of their personal needs. That figure grew as income did; 40 percent of those earning NIS 4,000 a month felt they could not handle personal matters during work hours, compared to 62 percent of those earning NIS 14,000 or more. 36 percent of all workers had to work at least once a month during their free time, after being ordered to by their boss; among college graduates, that figure was 53 percent, compared to 23 percent of salespeople and other service industry workers, including agriculture and building industry workers. 50 percent of men and 47 percent of women reported working on very tight schedules that left little time for error, the report showed.