Get out of there, GP tells workers

Dr Michael Ryan stresses the importance of work-life balance.
Dr Michael Ryan stresses the importance of work-life balance. Darryn Smithc

THE concept of clocking off on time used to be foreign to Dr Michael Ryan.

But the Maroochydore doctor, from Medicine on Second, says the days of a poor work-life balance are behind him.

He will do his best to finish work on time today and is encouraging workers to join him as part of national Go Home On Time Day.

The event, initiated by think tank The Australia Institute, is aimed at raising awareness of the extent of overwork in Australia and the workplace, health and social consequences it has.

Dr Ryan said the current lifestyle of a GP was not as hectic as it had been 20 years ago.

“There are no more 10 to 12 hours days or six-day weeks,” he said.

Dr Ryan said his workplace had adopted a healthy approach through initiatives such as cooking lunch together on Fridays and getting outside for a quick bout of office cricket.

“Workplace stress is something I see in here quite often as a GP, and it can lead to things like overeating, smoking and drinking.”

A survey conducted by The Australia Institute found that half of all respondents wanted to work fewer hours than they had in the week prior to taking the survey.

Of those working overtime, four in five wanted to work less, while 60% of part-time workers wanted to work more hours.

The Australia Institute’s deputy director Josh Fear said there was a clear mismatch between the hours the labour market made available and when people wanted to work.

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Survey results:

One in two (50%) Australians, and 61% of those working overtime, were prevented from spending enough time with family in the week leading up to the survey because of work

One in two (46%), and 58% of those working overtime, said work had stopped them doing physical exercise

Work prevented one in three (35%) from eating healthy meals

One in five (20%) were prevented from walking or cycling to work because of their job commitments.

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