Stories | October 12, 2009

Time is money

So that's why being paid by the hour makes you happy

Do you get paid by the hour? If so, you are more likely than your salaried friends to relate your happiness with the amount of money you earn, a new study shows.

The article - published in the latest edition of the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin - argues that the connection between time and money increases when people are paid by the hour. Authors Sanford DeVoe and Jeffrey Pfeffer write that the finding is important for employers who want to get the most out of their workers.

Hourly rates around the world
And the authors say the finding could go some way towards explaining international differences in work-life balance and happiness. More than half of workers in the United States are paid by the hour (and the proportion is growing) but the paper says the practice is not so prevalent in other parts of the world, notably in parts of Western Europe. The academics, from the University of Toronto and Stanford University, undertook studies in the US and United Kingdom for the research published in the journal in October 2009.

Calculate your hourly rate and smile
But people who get a salary rather than an hourly wage should not lament too much. The academics say salaried workers can get a similar happy-effect by doing a few simple calculations to work out their approximate hourly rate.

eZonomics team
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