Australians are working harder and taking less holidays. We used to be famed around the world for our sun-drenched, laid back lifestyles. Not anymore. Apparently, Australians are finding it harder and harder to make the time to get away from the workplace. Another vital part of Australian culture and identity lost during the Howard era :
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd isn't setting a good example for those who think we should live less busy, less frantic lifestyles.Australians are the least likely in the world to take their entitled annual leave, a global survey has found.
The survey found that one in three Australians say financial pressures have affected their holiday plans this year.
It also found 32 per cent blamed the credit crunch and higher interest rates, while 34 per cent said work commitments were too great to take a break.
Dr Ben Searle, organisational psychologist at Macquarie University, said the survey results were worrying."Working for extended periods without taking time off to recharge can affect health and relationships, and in extreme cases has been linked to premature deaths,'' he said.
What do we gain from working so hard? Are we richer, more satisfied? Do we feel our lives are more accomplished when we spend almost as much time at work as we do at home?
Few reach their last days and look back over their lives and think : "I wish I'd spent more time at the office."
Will we become like the Japanese, where death from overwork becomes commonplace?