That 5pm Rat Race: Are We Over Doing It?


Living in Melbourne can feel like a rat race, especially when being an observer of that 5pm commute. Everyone on their journey eager to get home as quickly as they can, typically appear in low spirits from what the day has held. It led me to think, do we simply over-work ourselves and is the joy of our days being ceased? 

Bec Gehrig, 24, who has a full time job at a creative marketing company in Melbourne says

“I’m often always tired. Having a nine to five is insane. I was so excited to get it and I am grateful, but those school days were just so much easier. Even year twelve was a breeze now I think of it. I ride my bike to work because I’m time poor and this means I can exercise and save money, anyway the other day I was so tired and out of it that I literally fell off it and have some nasty bruises as a result”. 

The famous saying “where does time fly?” is not said without reason. Every year is ticking away faster than the one before it seems. But why does it feel like that? Is it because we’re so busy nowadays that it feels like we don’t have time for anything leisurely until the weekend? 

Bec continues to say that, “When the weekend comes I’m always so ready to just do nothing. All my friends are similar we usually just get dinner somewhere and go home like grandmas. Partying days are over. Because work is always in the back of your mind so you don’t want to wreck yourself on the weekends anymore”. If all we’re looking forward to any more is relaxing on weekends, surely that says a lot about work-place culture and being over-worked in modern society.

Those who can land a a job straight out of university are considered the lucky ones as only “79 per cent of graduates get a job straight away”, while “30 per cent are failing to gain work within four months after graduating,” says ABC Education Reporter Natasha Robinson.

As a result there are higher expectations on them to step up, contribute and lift their game at work to fit in, but when it’s causing serious fatigue issues and days are becoming bleaker and repetitive, is it mentally beneficial?

Perhaps employers should look at ways to brighten workers days, especially in these winter months. As we know, happier employees who are less exhausted are more motivated to preform better as they are satisfied with their bosses and workplaces understanding of their needs. One idea could be to have workplace meditation sessions, using apps such as Headspace or Smiling Mind. And remember, if you are feeling tired or over-worked, always speak up. 


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