The majority of millennials are workaholics, a new survey finds. According to the Millennial Workaholics Index compiled by FreshBooks, one in five millennials works over 60 hours in an average week,
Researchers polled over 1,000 millennial employees to get a better understanding of modern work habits. The results found that 66% of millennials identify as workaholics and that they have the data to back it up.
Up to 56% of millennials work over 40 hours a week, the average number of hours to be considered a full-time employee. That’s 8% higher than American workers over the age of 46.
Millennials work many side jobs in different industries such as staffing, which employs 3 million temporary employees in the average week, and truck driving, which runs 500 refrigerated trailers in the United States.
Millennial employees are also willing to work anywhere so long as they’re able to finish their work. The survey found that 70% of employees work on weeks, 63% work when they’re sick, and 32% work while they’re taking a bathroom break.
What’s more, 51% of millennial employees said they’ve worked while on vacation and 27% have while they’ve been on a date. But why the excessive work hours and overtime?
For 50% of millennials, it’s because they need the money. The average millennial has $42,000 in debt from student loans and/or credit card debt. That’s $9,000 more than the average American.
“As you grow older, your expenses increase,” said Emily Holbrook, the director of planning for Northwestern Mutual, an American financial services mutual organization. “The additional pressures that come onto the pocketbook only grow and your disposable income shrinks in a lot of cases, even if your salary is growing.”
Millennials are pressured to rely on their credit cards to cope with financial burdens many other generations haven’t had to deal with including high student loans, skyrocketing housing prices, and self-funded retirement savings. In fact, housing prices are so high in metropolitan cities that millennials in San Francisco will need to save up for 20 years before they can afford to make a down payment.
These financial burdens may also be the reason behind millennial employees’ lack of paid time off. According to Project: Time Off, up to 43% of all work martyrs (employees who leave their PTO on the table) are millennials.
Millennial respondents to the Project: Time Off survey reported that they didn’t want their employers to think they were replaceable and that they wanted to show a complete dedication to their company and job. Others reported feeling guilty for taking time off.
In 2017, Americans left 200 million vacation days on the table. One in four Americans will leave nine days on the table this year, but this isn’t necessarily the fault of the workers either.
In another Project: Time Off survey, 50% of managers said that company pressure kept them from approving employees’ requests for paid time off.
However, workers who don’t use their paid time off can have a negative effect on the workplace environment. Burnout and anxiety can cause lower work quality and increase the risk of job-related injuries. For instance, 2.5% of workers in South Carolina’s private sector were injured on the job in 2016 alone.
Workaholism can also have negative impacts on employees. One large-scale study of workaholism found that workaholics are more likely to suffer from mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, ADHD, and OCD.
Workaholism can also negatively affect an employee’s physical health, make them less effective at work, and cause problems with their personal relationships. Yet, because working hard is often praised and honored in the U.S. many workers may choose to work excessively despite these symptoms.