Studies show that Americans are working harder and longer to keep pace and that's especially true in L.A. But by putting in 80- or 90-hour work weeks and spending fewer and fewer hours at home with friends and family, many executives risk severe health and personal problems, experts say. The Business Journal asks:
Do you work too many hours?
Linda Mongno (photo)
Hornblower Cruises & Events
Our jobs have required us to commit a great deal of time and energy. I don't have children, so my family life doesn't suffer from my long work hours. I've been very career-oriented all my life. I've never had to make a decision regarding children and whether to stay home or not. But I think more and more companies are understanding the importance of balance, and are allowing executives to manage their jobs in a way that complements their personal lives as well.
Katessa C. Davis (photo)
Arter & Hadden LLP
I like being a lawyer, and long hours are the price you have to pay for being a lawyer in the 1990s. Oftentimes, you're dealing with complex matters that require a lot of attention and detail, and cases that have high exposure. So you want to put in the time and pay attention to detail, to protect the interest of your clients. But the long hours haven't been at the expense of my personal life. I'm able to find a balance. I just got married this summer.
Parking Concepts Inc.
Absolutely, I work too many hours. We are in the parking business, and we have to be available for our clients during normal business hours, which means a lot of work has to be done before and after normal business hours, including evenings and weekends. Also, some of our facilities are busy in the evening or other odd hours.
I have learned to adjust, and my family has learned to adjust to it. I'm 52, and have been in this business all my life, so my children have grown up knowing that on some holidays I may not be there. It's definitely a sacrifice and a compromise. And maybe a little bit of selfishness, too.
Assistant Vice President
Far East National Bank
Sometimes I work too many hours, but not always. When we have an urgent case and have to get a loan approved, I work extra hours to make the customer happy and to meet the deadline. Other than that, we are able to leave on time. It all depends on how we allocate our time. I try very hard to leave on time because I have to pick my kids up at school.
PM Realty Group
I work well in excess of eight hours, but I love it. It's not like anyone's beating me over the head to do it. I work as much as I need to, to do those things required to win. If that takes you three hours, you work three hours. If that takes you 120 hours, you work 120 hours. The pace of business is very fast today. Companies have economized in personnel and staffing, so there's more of a load on individuals.
Mark Maechling (photo)
President and Chief Operating Officer
I came from Wall Street, where I worked 80 to 90 hours a week. Now I work 55 to 60 hours a week and I don't feel that is an unreasonable amount. You have to keep your priorities in order. Obviously family is first and business is second.
Transamerica Premier Funds
Yes, I work too many hours, for both personal and professional reasons. It's a function of the competitive environment that we're in, and the fact that if you don't produce, you're not going to be around much longer. I feel fortunate enough to have an understanding wife who's very patient, and who's supportive.
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