Forget 9 to 5 — many people today are working much longer hours. A 2014 Gallup poll revealed that Americans average 47 hours of work per week, or almost a full day’s worth of extra hours. And nearly 4 in 10 people say they clock 50-plus hours of work per week.
To find out more about Americans’ (over)work habits, we analyzed over 150,000 Instagram posts using the hashtag #Overtime, excluding any involving sports, working out, or the gym. Paychex examined which months and days see spikes in #Overtime posts, which states post most frequently about extra work hours, and what people have to say on the subject. How does your workweek compare? Keep reading to find out.
Working #Overtime, All Year Long
It turns out that March is not just a month for Pi Day, St. Patrick’s Day, and nonstop basketball—it’s also prime time for clocking extra hours. Instagram #Overtime posts peak in March, increasing 24 percent from February.
Interestingly, research reveals that March Madness basketball tournament drastically cuts productivity as fans sneak hours during the workday to check their brackets and watch live streams of the games—but it appears at least some employees might make up for it by working more. March also tends to be a busy month for auditors, CPAs, and others in the financial industry, as Americans scramble to file taxes.
After March, #overtime posts plunge until May, when they maintain at a low point until August. Summer is a notoriously unproductive season for workers, as warm weather draws people outdoors, and vacations beckon. (In fact, during the summer, many companies even close the office early on Fridays in hopes of boosting productivity.)
A Week of Working #Overtime
Overtime is a catchall term that refers to working beyond typical work hours—and for eligible employees, working overtime means earning time-and-a-half, or 1.5 times the standard hourly pay, for every hour worked past 40.
The busiest day for #Overtime posts on Instagram is Saturday. The weekend day, traditionally a time for sleeping in and flipping pancakes, sees over twice as many #Overtime posts than Monday—the day with the fewest.
One theory? For salaried workers with Monday-to-Friday schedules, Saturdays simply may be prime time to catch up or get ahead by working “overtime.” Additionally, for hourly workers in retail or foodservice industries, busy Saturdays may be the most likely time to pick up an extra shift.
Which States Work #Overtime
Across the country, people in Hawaii share the most #Overtime posts on Instagram: 8 posts for every 100,000 residents. The top industry in Hawaii is tourism, and the manufacturing sector and hospitality trade are among the top five industries—all of which may have employees working overtime. The state is also known for its high cost of living. California claims second place with 5.5 posts per 100,000 residents, and Nevada comes in third with 4.7.
Posts appear most frequently in a handful of states in the West, South, and Northeast. Aside from Illinois, the Midwest sees a comparatively scant number of #Overtime posts on the whole. People in West Virginia, Montana, and Vermont post the fewest overall.
Popularity of #Overtime Posts
Next, we looked at the number of likes people’s #Overtime posts received from fellow Instagram users. States with the most double-taps don’t appear to correlate with total number of #Overtime posts. #Overtime posts in West Virginia average 56 likes—the most by far. Idaho comes second with 46 likes, while Nevada comes third with 44.
However, on the low end, a grouping of Midwestern states see the fewest likes. North Dakota garners the fewest red hearts for #Overtime posts—only 3.8. Iowa comes in second with an average of 10.8 likes, Wyoming comes third with 11.2, and Nebraska comes next with 11.6. Is this lack of posts and likes in the Midwest a coincidence? Or is it possible the map reveals the deeply rooted family values of Midwesterners in terms of prioritizing family time over work?
Top Industries in #Overtime Posts
Of course, not every #Overtime post on Instagram mentions an industry, but we examined which fields crop up most frequently among the posts that do. The top industry by far? Construction. Construction workers often work overtime, and some have not been paid for their extra work. Art, and welding finish the top 3, followed by hair, design, nursing, and education.
Frequent Words in #Overtime Posts
What words commonly appear in #Overtime posts on Instagram? Nearly a quarter contain the word “work,” while “workflow” and “working” appear in another nearly 7% respectively. Some words are positive: “money,” “love,” “good,” and “happy.” Perhaps the most negative? “Tired,” which appears in nearly 5% of overtime posts.
Words That Appear in #Overtime Posts
By far, the most common terms that appear in #Overtime posts relate to work: “work,” “workflow,” and “working.” Plenty of time-related words crop up as well, including “Saturday,” “Friday,” “today,” “week,” and “hour.” Some of the terms convey happiness, including “LOL,” “fun,” “love,” and “good.” Others hold a more negative connotation, including “grind,” “late,” and “hard.” The only word that directly relates to the accompanying photo in the Instagram post? “Selfie,” of course.
How do Americans feel about their work hours? They may not feel comfortable opening up to their supervisor or even a co-worker — but in today’s plugged-in world, social media is an outlet for many people who want to share details about their lives.
Our study reveals some interesting results. #Overtime posts on Instagram dramatically peak on Saturdays. As for months, March sees the most #Overtime posts by far. People in Hawaii, California, and New York are the most likely to post #Overtime missives, while workers in North Dakota share the fewest by far.
Fifty years ago, overtime pay was common for many people—in fact, over 6 in 10 salaried employees qualified for time-and-a-half pay. Over time, working longer hours for the same pay became the new normal. New rules about overtime pay were implemented by the Department of Labor in May of 2016, and 4 million workers will receive overtime pay in the next year. Opinions on the subject are mixed—and passionate. Regardless of your take, it will be interesting to see how the workforce changes and how #Overtime posts evolve.
Could your business use a hand managing tough issues such as overtime, benefits, taxes, and more? At Paychex, we can simplify your entire HR operations and ensure you stay up to speed in a changing landscape. Visit us at Paychex.com today to see what we can do for you.
As part of this research, we scraped Instagram for every post including #overtime. Then, we excluded any posts that involved sports, working out, or the gym leaving us with over 150,000 posts to analyze.