Research on working hours has revealed that lawyers and professionals work for just over 42 hours per week, less than fishermen and miners.
Challenging the notion that lawyers and doctors are the ones working the longest hours, a Bankwest Working Times Report found that those in the agriculture, forestry and fishing industry work the longest hours, with the average full-time agricultural worker putting in 50.9 hours per week. The mining industry came in second, clocking 45.5 hours a week. Lawyers and those in the professional, scientific and technical services sector work, on average, 42.6 hours per week, according to the report.
"The men and women on the land are the ones who are working longer hours than anyone else in Australia," Bankwest Business chief executive Ian Corfield said.
Contrary to the long-held notion that Australians are working longer than ever before, according to the report, full-time workers in Australia spend an average of 1.3 hours less at work than they did a decade ago.
Full-time workers put in an average of 41.4 hours a week over the past year to August 2010, compared with 42.7 hours a week a decade ago, handing back an equivalent of more than eight working days over the course of the year compared to 2000.
"I'm sure many of us would be astounded to learn that as a nation we each are actually working fewer hours than we were back in 2000 Corfield said. "I think there's little doubt that many of us are working harder than ever before, but our research shows this doesn't mean we are necessarily working longer. The thing to remember of course is that for many of us the day doesn't end when we switch off the computer and go home...even so, our research shows we are actually spending 68 hours less in the office every year..." Corfield said.
Not surprisingly, the report revealed that small business owners worked the longest hours in Australia, while government employees in the public sector worked fewer hours than other Australians (36.8 hours per week).