How we respond to challenging situations has a significant impact on how stress affects us and our overall well-being. Each individual experiences stress in different ways, and this can be particularly challenging for those who feel that their jobs have become increasingly difficult over the years.
Recent studies have highlighted an interesting finding: individuals over the age of 40 tend to perform at their best when they work only three days a week. This insightful report, published in the Melbourne Institute Worker Paper series, revealed that individuals who worked for 25 hours per week demonstrated optimal performance, while those working for 55 hours per week exhibited results worse than retired or unemployed participants.
How Working Hours Affect the Brain
The notion that reducing work hours can lead to improved performance may come as a surprise to some. However, it has been observed that working excessively long hours, such as 55 hours per week, can actually decrease overall performance. This can be attributed to factors such as fatigue and stress, which not only hamper productivity but also diminish the positive effects of work.
One might wonder if these findings hold true for intellectually demanding jobs as well. According to Professor Colin McKenzie from Keio University, individuals tend to select jobs that align with their cognitive abilities. As many countries around the world are increasing retirement ages and postponing eligibility for pensions, more people are expected to continue working later in life.
Considering the potential implications of working full time until the age of 67, including fatigue and stress, governments are exploring alternative approaches. By aiming to establish a standard 40-hour workweek until the age of 67, governments hope to promote better outcomes for both individuals and the state by 2026 or 2028.
Rather than molding your life around your job, it may be worth seeking employment opportunities that align with your interests and passions. Forcing individuals to work until the age of 67, as some governments suggest, may not be equitable since older individuals may not possess the same level of energy and dedication they had 20 years ago. However, further research is necessary to fully validate these claims.
If your goal is to maintain an active lifestyle and stay socially connected, consider pursuing low-stress work with lighter responsibilities. This can provide a more balanced and fulfilling approach to your later years.