According to the »Work-Life-Balance« study which was conducted by the Kienbaum management consultancy in co-operation with the Harvard Businessmanager, 80% of German top managers work more than 50 hours per week. Managers earning more than 200.000 Euros a year even work 60 to 70 hours each week. Thus, this group of German top executives on average works more than their counterparts in the USA where only 35% work more than 60 weekly hours.
Almost all (96%) of those questioned said that they work at weekends too. About one third of top managers with a salary of more than 200.000 Euros work between 10 and 20 hours over the weekend. 85% of all top managers think that the workload has increased over the last five years. However, eighty percent of all German top managers consider this to be challenging or as something normal and 95% say that to them their job is fun.
In Germany as well as in the US a new manager type, the „extreme jobber» has emerged, says Mr. Jochen Kienbaum, managing director of Kienbaum Consultants International. However, this trend in his opinion is also dangerous given that the development of strategies and visions could be neglected due to too many operational tasks. The same applies to leadership and communication.
One third of top managers questioned said that they travelled for business more than twice each week. In the group of those earning more than 200.000 Euros this percentage is even 42%. It is striking that this group is driven to a large extent by challenges (87%), recognition (57%), intellectual achievements (46%) or »adrenalin kicks« (15%). Therefore, extreme kinds of sport such as parachuting, bungee jumping or marathon are very popular among German top managers.
Besides these motivating factors it is also increasing competition which forces managers to work even harder. According to a study there is an ever growing trasparancy with regard to executives´ achievements which makes individual efforts measurable and comparable.
Despite recognition, intellectual challenges and a lot of money extreme jobbing entails problems too: almost 50% of German top managers are aware of the fact that they do not spend enough time with their partners. Health also suffers from the extreme burdens of their jobs: 75% say that their body does not get enough work out. Two thirds of those questioned say that they will carry on with their jobs for another five years at most under the present circumstances. In the group of those with more than 200.000 Euros a year this proportion is even 75%.
A good balance between job and family should be taken seriously by both employee and employers, warn Jochen Kienbaum. However, personnel departments are not yet fully aware of the phenomen of extreme jobbing so that corresponding solutions to the problem still have to be come up with.