Workload and Working hours


This topic discusses the amount of work we do and how much time we devote to it.

Universities are notorious for being places with high stress and high workloads for both staff and students. But why does everyone have to work so hard? Is the volume/time spent working sustainable and healthy? What could initiatives such as the 4-day week do to reduce workload stress and how should be implemented? How is workload measured in academia?

Facilitation Notes

Discussion Questions

  • Are workload and working hours another part of the culture of academia that is harmful for its participants?
  • Why haven’t we implemented a 4-day week in the UK and is it likely to occur?
  • Should people be paid by the hour or for the work they do?
  • How should workload be monitored by academia? 
  • Is the workload for students sustainable? 
  • Why is relaxing deemed lazy and not accepted as an important part of life? 
  • How does workload intersect with the concept of functioning well? 

Resource Personalisation

It might be interesting to link to resources from your university about:

  • The workload modelling process for your department 
  • Pieces from your community on their experiences with workload and working hours at university/in academia 
  • The effect of the pandemic on workload and working hours
  • Academic burnout or movement of staff from academia to business/private institutions  

Culture Club.