According to the Bureau of Labor statistics, the average American works 44 hours per week. For those who work for online retailers, that amount goes up to around 50 to 60 hours during Christmas.
For Amazon workers, mandatory overtime starts on Black Friday and ends when Christmas is over. This is what most call “peak season.” Temporary workers are hired and every shift in the building is required to work.
For one anonymous worker, peak season is one of the busiest times of the year.
“Most people can do one sixty hour work week, but we have four of them.”
According to Fortune, the extended work hours could be killing people.
“It’s not just feeling unhealthy or missing out on experiences with family, where the psychological impact is difficult to quantify. There’s research that shows high stress work can actually kill people, by driving up levels of heart disease and making strokes more likely. And that’s on top of health impacts like repetitive strain injury (RSI) or back problems, or migraines and other issues.”
When employees are working more, workplace injuries increase because of the stress and lack of sleep, especially if that person has a family.
On Black Friday, over 165 million people shopped online or in stores, a number that has been skyrocketing ever since the technology boom. It is predicted that during the holidays, sales will increase drastically, according to Deloitte
.“Deloitte’s annual holiday economic forecast projects total retail sales will increase 5 –5.6 percent, with online sales likely rising 17–22 percent during the 2018 holiday season.”
In a poll of fifty anonymous MJHS students, 81.63 percent reported they online shopped, and ⅔ of those who said yes shopped at Amazon.
NPR said “Close to two-thirds of Americans now say they've bought something on Amazon.”
Amazon is expecting a 4 percent increase in sales this holiday season. According to the anonymous employee, Amazon is dealing with this by hiring more temporary and seasonal workers.
The employee said, “I just hope I won’t have to work a twelve hour shift this year. It’s hard enough to do ten.”
Because they have to work every year, most assume these workers don’t have any holiday spirit. However, in a poll shared on a community page, more than half stated that they still have “holiday spirit.”
Now that more and more people are shopping online, online retailers are the ones working to bring you the Christmas presents you’ll always remember. Make to sure to thank the real Santas when you get your Christmas present this year.