Sunday, August 3, 2008

New Study Shows Realtors Looking for Real Life

New Study Shows Realtors Looking for Real Life

Although many Realtors report that their job gives them more flexibility than traditional office work, they still tend to work very long hours. Long hours and productivity used to go hand in hand -- but recent evidence shows that this pattern of working is taking its toll.

Queensland, Australia (PRWEB) November 14, 2006

A recent study conducted by Dr Jackie Holt of over 150 Australian real estate professionals found that over 30% had scores indicating psychological distress, 75% had physical and behavioural signs of stress and over 57% had problems with work/life balance. As psychological distress is reported to occur in the general population at levels of around 20%, this finding of over 30% is of concern. One of the highlighted concerns was the reported high level of fatigue.

According to Dr Jackie Holt, "Once we work more than 48 hours per week, there is increased competition between sleep and other activities of daily living. This results in both physical and emotional fatigue. In fact, the effects of increased levels of fatigue have been compared to the effects of moderate alcohol intoxication."

There is evidence that shows a link between fatigue and decreased productivity. For those whose work involves mainly thinking activities, such as Realtors, fatigue is associated with increased physical and emotional disorders, decreased decision making ability, poor communication, inability to control mood and behavior, as well as increased mistakes and accidents.

As well as taking a toll on productivity, long work hours are detrimental to life balance. The results from this research also echo the findings of US research. A survey of 1000 Realtors found that over half the family members of Realtors were unhappy with their real estate spouses working habits and that 35% of Realtors report that they do not have enough time for their families.

Dr Holt said, "Rightly or wrongly, long hours are often perceived as a sign of commitment and competence. Realtors who work long hours are rewarded by many organisations in terms of recognition, approval, promotion and being a part of the 'in crowd'."

"Challenging this accepted culture of long hours will difficult. Outdated notions of productivity, customer service and business practices mean that real estate is still perceived as being a profession that requires you to be on call 24/7. However, we are only now beginning to see the true costs of long working hours; not only on the individual but also on their families, the community and the organisation. If this culture is to change, work/life balance must move from being viewed as a warm and fuzzy concept to an essential personal and organizational necessity."

For a free report about this research visit http://www. equilibrado. com. au/research. html (http://www. equilibrado. com. au/research. html) A range of other work life balance resources are also available.

About Dr Jackie Holt

Have you ever wondered why, despite all the new labour saving technology we have, that we are now working longer and harder than ever before? Have you ever wondered if this pattern of working is good for our health or for our businesses? Dr Jackie Holt has. Her Ph. D. focused on identifying effective strategies to reduce psychological distress amongst doctors and to assist them to identify ways to create work/life balance. The practical nature of her work resulted in positives outcomes not only for the individual but also for their businesses. Dr Holt is the Director of Ripplemakers Pty Ltd, a company that specializes in supporting individuals and businesses to develop strategies in which they can survive and thrive both personally and professionally. She is also the co-author of "Balance: real-life strategies for work/life balance", and the author of several national training programs in the areas of individual and organizational change, work/life balance and stress management.

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