Story: Occupational structure

Page 4. Time and place of work

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Long working hours

Occupation type is one of a number of factors that influence working hours. Some of the areas of work that most often involve long hours – defined as 50 or more each week – include farming, fishing and truck driving.

In 2006 farmers, managers (of a variety of kinds, including hospitality and retail managers) and road and rail drivers were the most likely to work long hours. Clerical, administrative and sales workers were the groups least likely to work long hours.

Hours of work

People’s occupations also affect when they work, and what time they start or finish work. Managers and professionals are most likely to work Monday to Friday and mainly during daylight hours. People working in hospitality industries are more likely to work in the evenings or weekends.

Some occupations, such as policing or nursing, require a presence 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so some people in these occupations work at least part of the time at night.

Workers in some occupations are likely to start very early in the morning, such as dairy farmers, fishers, bakers and builders.

Place of work

The place where someone works is closely linked to their occupations. Overall, professionals are more likely to work in large urban areas, while labourers are less likely to.

Working from home

By the early 2000s changes in information technology made working from home more feasible for some workers. Farmers have almost always worked from their homes, but by 2006 more than a quarter of non-farm workers also worked from home.

Some people who did most of their work in a separate workplace also worked for shorter periods at home in the evenings or weekends. Managers and professionals tended to work this way. Other people worked mainly in a separate workplace, but worked from home on particular weekdays. Real estate agents were often part of this group.

Others, such as writers, did most or all of their work at home.

There were also many occupations where it was difficult or not possible to work from home, including sales work and the transport industries.

How to cite this page:

Paul Callister and Robert Didham, 'Occupational structure - Time and place of work', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/occupational-structure/page-4 (accessed 27 June 2017)

Story by Paul Callister and Robert Didham, published 11 Mar 2010