Employee Told To Work 60 Hours Per Week Because 'That's What Professionals Do' — Now He's Thinking About Quitting

He is missing out on valuable time with family — now he is experiencing burnout and he's not alone.

man, employee Marjan Apostolovic / Shutterstock 

According to the United Bureau of Labor Statistics, full-time employed Americans work an average of 40 hours per week. However, many report working well over that.

Many employees don’t even have the time to decompress or spend time with their families. One man reached his breaking point after he was told that he would have to deal with working over 60 hours a week since that was what was expected of him. 


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The employee was told that he had to work 60 hours a week because ‘that’s what professionals do.’ 

Sharing his story to the subreddit forum, r/antiwork, the man revealed that a recent performance review he had at work questioned his future at the company. During the review, he brought up the tremendously long hours he was already working for one salary with little vacation time.

“I am working insanely long hours (60-70 a week) for one salary which is labeled exempt so I get no overtime. My boss only allows one week of vacation a year,” he wrote. “We have to be on-site from 7-3 no matter what Monday to Friday even if we worked until 10 PM the night before. We are also expected to be on call 24/7.” 


The long hours have taken a toll on the man, especially since he unexpectedly had to work both Christmas Eve and Christmas, forcing him to use one of his limited sick days to recuperate after working 11 days straight.

After considering the facts with his company, he expected them to give him fewer hours. However, their response was one he was not prepared for. “My boss responded, ‘we are professionals and that's what is expected of us,’” he wrote. 

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Now, the man says that he is quitting his job. 

“I’m putting my two weeks notice on Monday so I at least have insurance through April,” he shared. “I hate this country so so so much.” He is not the only employee with these feelings. According to Zippia, 89% of American workers have experienced burnout in the past year due to excruciatingly long hours. Additionally, 44% experience physical fatigue from work-related stress. 


Other Redditors shared their own work burnout experiences after being expected to give up so much of their personal time to work overtime. 

“My old company did that to me. It went from 45 hours required....50 hours....then a huge jump to 60 hours…and of course the excuse was it's the professional thing to do,” one user commented. “I checked out. I just showed up and moped around and did my 60, but I did absolutely nothing. I was a ghost in the office. It took them two years to fire me. I'm much happier now.” 

“Microsoft made me do 60 to 80-hour weeks as a salaried employee. “So glad I've left that place, the most toxic job I've ever had,” another user wrote. 

While working is essential to make a decent living, it is all about balance. Taking an appropriate amount of time off to catch up on downtime, spending time with loved ones and a break from the office will not result in the downfall of the American workforce. In fact, reducing hours and taking vacation time have proven to be beneficial for both companies and their employees. Overworked employees are less likely to be productive and engaged at work due to burnout, while those who work a reasonable number of hours have an increased productivity rate and overall better focus. 


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Megan Quinn is a writer at YourTango who covers entertainment and news, self, love, and relationships.