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As the 9-to-5 Work Day Disappears, Our Lives Are Growing More Out of Sync

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by Dan Woodman and Julia Cook for The Conversation

Working 9 to 5, made famous by the Dolly Parton song and movie, is increasingly a thing of the past. You may have noticed the 9-to-5 work day is disappearing. We increasingly live our lives according to our individual schedules, although these are rarely completely within our individual control.

As our working lives become increasingly 24-7, our new research suggests there’s now an additional task to do in our families and friendships. We need to work harder than before to get our everyday schedules to sync up, even if just for a short time, to catch up in person with our best friends or to have a family meal together.

We’re not working 9 to 5

As part of the Life Patterns Project, we have spent the past 15 years tracking about 500 Australians from their final years of high school through to the age of 30. Getting a foot on the career ladder and finding quality work has been tough. But over the years we’ve seen most make the transition from casual and part-time work to full-time work and ongoing contracts.

However, one thing that Dolly Parton and many of us associate with a standard job has never arrived – working “9 to 5”.



Many of our participants have moved into professional jobs and out of the hospitality and retail jobs of their earlier years. Yet, while only a few are still officially working shifts, most still find themselves needing to do at least some work in the evenings and on weekends.

In terms of work schedules, non-standard is the new standard.

Life out of sync

As well as surveying our participants, we talk to about 50 each year to get the story behind the numbers.

The respondents had already told us that working non-standard hours affected their relationships, even for those in their late teens and early 20s. We wanted to know how they are managing their relationships around their complex work schedules, so in our most recent interviews we did something a little different.

We asked our participants to recruit either their partner or a close friend. We then followed both through a week of their lives, checking in with them every day using a mobile phone app. We asked them how their week was structured, who they spent time with and how time together was organised.

We found them working hard to create shared quality time with partners and friends in a “24-7” world. This involved lots of messages, calls and sometimes scheduling apps. One of our participants reflected:

We’ve got a WhatsApp group and last week I just asked, ‘Is anyone free on Saturday?’ There’s been a few saying, ‘Oh, I could potentially do that.’ But nothing’s set in stone yet. Often when it actually comes around it doesn’t work out. […] There’s a lot of people who can’t, generally because of work commitments.

Who is getting you in sync?

Our busy lives may mean we have more acquaintances and associates than our parents and grandparents had. But we now have to work harder than ever before to synchronize our free time with our closest friends and family.

It doesn’t look like we are sharing this work equally. Our research suggests it tends to be women doing this job for their partners and in mixed-sex friendship groups, even before children come along and make this scheduling even more complex. Voicing a common experience, one of our participants reflected:

I do all the scheduling as you might have picked up on. My husband doesn’t do much of that. So I take care of that, I suppose. And that helps us to run things smoothly.

Even in same-sex friendship groups, some people seemed to take on this organising role more than others. But there is a clear gender inequality at work.

Many others have observed that women usually shoulder the task of managing the rest of life outside of paid work for the whole family, no matter how much paid work they do. In the context of non-standard work patterns becoming more common, for many the job is being made even harder.

Got time for a coffee?

We’ve recently heard about the mental load of dealing with caring and housework unequally carried by women and that the younger generation is increasingly facing burnout.

It seems we are not sharing equally this extra work of synchronizing lives in a world out of sync. It might be time for us all to reflect on who is carrying this load in our lives. Maybe you can thank them by organizing to buy them a coffee, if you can find a time that works.

Dan Woodman is TR Ashworth Associate Professor in Sociology at the University of Melbourne. Julia Cook is a Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Newcastle.

The Conversation publishes knowledge-based journalism that is responsible, ethical and supported by evidence from academics and researchers in order to inform public debate with facts, clarity and insight into society’s biggest problems.

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Health

County Hospitals Receive 300 iPads for Patients to See Family

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LOS ANGELES – 300 iPads have been donated to Los Angeles County hospitals to facilitate patient-family communication during the COVID-19 pandemic. The gift is through a partnership with the Annenberg Foundation, Brilliant Corners, and the Los Angeles County Center for Strategic Partnerships.

“The engagement of loved ones during hospitalization has been shown to improve clinical outcomes,” said DHS Director, Dr. Christina Ghaly. “Clinical staff identified a role for virtual visiting through technology in order to facilitate this family involvement. The generous donations by the Annenberg Foundation and MobileDemand will help support this critical element of our patients’ care.” 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, patient visitation by family and loved ones is limited at facilities in order to prevent exposure and the spread of disease. While there are some exceptions, such as the birth of a child or death of a patient, visitation is not permitted for the vast majority of patients and not allowed at all for COVID-19 patients. 

The donation provides 300 iPads to ensure patients and their families are able to connect, despite restrictions in access to the hospital. A second donation, by MobileDemand, provides rugged, protective healthcare iPad cases to protect against damage and loss. The rugged case also has an adjustable easel attached, providing effortless viewing for patients who are too weak to hold a tablet. Additionally, it frees health care staff from having to hold the device for patients.

“This is a wonderful example of how philanthropic organizations, nonprofits, government, and businesses can collaborate and meet an immediate need in our community,” said Wallis Annenberg, Chairman, President and CEO of the Annenberg Foundation. “Being able to offer an opportunity for comfort and connection to those suffering and to alleviate some of the stress from our frontline caregivers is of utmost importance.”

While social distancing has been successful in flattening the curve of the COVID-19 surge in Los Angeles County, it is anticipated that it will continue for several months. With this gift, physicians and nurses will be able to place an iPad in the room of COVID and other critically-ill patients for the duration of the admission and reduce potential exposure and use of personal protective equipment going in and out of the room. Having a stationary iPad helps relieve medical staff who would otherwise have to hold the phone for a patient or search for the person’s personal phone. It also will allow patients who do not have a personal mobile device to communicate and “visit” with their family.

The Los Angeles County Department of Health Services (DHS) is the second largest municipal health system in the nation. Through its integrated system of 26 health centers and four hospitals – LAC+USC Medical Center, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, Olive View-UCLA Medical Center, and Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center – and expanded network of community partner clinics, DHS annually provides direct care for 600,000 unique patients, employs over 22,000 staff, and has an annual budget of over $6 billion.

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Processions to Cedars Will Salute Healthcare Workers on National Nurses Day

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The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is putting a strain on essential workers such as first responders and healthcare workers who are on the frontlines in the effort to care for coronavirus patients so the City of West Hollywood is setting out to recognize them in a special way on May 6.

National Nurses Day is a day of recognition to celebrate and honor the contributions that nurses have made and continue to make in our communities and throughout the nation. National Nurses Day is celebrated annually on May 6, which marks the beginning of National Nurses Week, a week-long celebration to raise awareness of the value of nursing and educate the public on the role nurses play in meeting the healthcare needs of Americans. National Nurses Week concludes on May 12, the birthday of Florence Nightingale, or as she was more commonly known, “The Lady of the Lamp” and founder of modern nursing.

The West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is coordinating two motorcades to honor healthcare workers on Wednesday, May 6, 2020, which is nationally recognized as National Nurses Day. The processions will begin at 9:45 a.m. and at 7:15 p.m. on Santa Monica Boulevard at La Cienega Boulevard and the motorcades will head west and then travel southbound on N. San Vicente Boulevard passing multiple medical center locations in West Hollywood en route to a destination outside the emergency room entrance of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center on Gracie Allen Drive. First responders will briefly stop, exit their vehicles and applaud healthcare workers while wearing face coverings and practicing appropriate social distancing.

“Our nurses and healthcare workers are nothing short of heroes,” said City of West Hollywood Mayor Pro Tempore Lindsey P. Horvath. “The coronavirus pandemic has reminded us just how critical their work is to our everyday health and safety. This National Nurses Day means so much more to all of us — the City of West Hollywood and our LA County Sheriff’s West Hollywood Station and LA County Fire Stations; the City of Beverly Hills and Beverly Hills Police and Fire; the City of Los Angeles and LAPD and LAFD; the California Highway Patrol, and more — and we will honor these heroes in a special way for the care that they provide, which often goes unseen and unrecognized, in carrying us through this crisis.”

“As the worldwide response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continues, the critical importance of nurses in our society has been brought sharply into focus,” said City of West Hollywood Councilmember John Heilman. “More often than not, when a coronavirus patient ends up in a hospital, it is the nurses at the frontlines who are responsible for their care and treatment, putting themselves at risk in the process. We can’t say ‘thank you’ strongly enough.”

The City of West Hollywood encourages residents and community members to participate during this day of celebration while still adhering to LA County Safer At Home Orders and social distancing requirements. Suggested forms of participation include amplifying posts on social media channels, making yard or window signs and banners, participating in a coordinated daily applause or shout out for nurses and healthcare workers, and donating to organizations that are addressing the emerging needs of nurses and healthcare workers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) health pandemic.

According to the American Nursing Association, nursing is the nation’s largest healthcare profession, with more than four million registered nurses in the United States. Registered nurses comprise one of the largest segments of the U.S. workforce and are the primary providers of hospital patient care, delivering most of the nation’s long-term care. In nursing, where workers are on the front lines of patient interactions, women make up more than 85 percent of the workforce. This year, with the onset of coronavirus, nurses have stepped up and shown the incredible impact they have on our healthcare system. It is more important than ever that we recognize National Nurses Day and celebrate the significance of nurses every day.

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Health

Texas & California Wet Markets Show Full Extent of Vile Conditions

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Texas & California Wet Markets Show Full Extent of Vile Conditions

(TMZ) — It’s becoming more clear by the day that wet markets are NOT just a China problem — it’s an American problem too … just take a look at these latest clips from Texas and California.

TMZ has gotten a hold of even more graphic videos of two different live animal shops in TX and CA — where people pick out the animal, have it slaughtered on the spot and then sold to them right then and there — and you see the mixed-in livestock runs the gamut.

There are pigs in pens, goats and sheep hoarded together … and, of course, as we’ve seen in New York and elsewhere — chicken and rabbits cooped up in cages — all in the same area within earshot of each other, and all getting butchered.

Ya got pigs hanging from hooks out in the open, chicken beaks, feathers and guts all over the floor and in an exposed trash can — this while customers (including kids) come in and browse the freezer for whatever cuts of meat they want. It’s downright dirty and gross.

As we’ve been told by the experts, these one-stop-shop slaughterhouses/storefronts can be breeding grounds for disease — including new viruses, like COVID-19, which supposedly got started at a wet market in China.

We already know of lawmakers in Cali and New York working to get these things shut down, but it’s pretty apparent there needs to be federal legislation rolled out to address this. Can’t call the kettle black when we’re swimming in the freakin’ pot.

Tune in to TMZ on TV weekdays Monday through Friday (check syndicated/local listings)

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