November 16, 2004

Stress in U.K. Universities

Posted by Arcane Gazebo at November 16, 2004 1:26 PM

Via Crooked Timber, an article in The Guardian on "near-epidemic levels of stress" in British academia. Many of the issues raised apply in the United States as well (from what I've observed). I thought this was an interesting take on it:

"Every job comes with its own internal psychological contract," Kinman says. "The deal that most academics make with themselves when they enter the profession is that they will be trading a lower salary for greater autonomy and flexibility.

"When they discover that not only are the pressures as intense - if not more so - than in other professions, but that much of their workload has been reduced to bureaucracy, they feel cheated that the contract has been violated. They are in effect mourning the loss of the job they thought they had."


The statistics at the bottom of the page are also very revealing.

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In reference to the statistics at the bottom, I _wish_ I only worked 55 hours a week. The last couple months, it's been like 75--80, although that's still nontrivially less than what I averaged at Tech... (Also, larger components than before are work-related emails and things like that which while occasionally annoying at least require far less brainpower and are much less taxing than other things.)

If I find a good academic job in which I only work 55 hours a week and still produce high-quality research, I would be _ecstatic_.

Posted by: Mason | November 16, 2004 5:04 PM

Yeah, my impression is that at least in physics, in the US, 55 hours/week is fairly low.

Posted by: Arcane Gazebo | November 16, 2004 7:45 PM
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