Meeting deadlines is one of the primary conditions of employment in this industry. Magazines and newspapers, in particular, are published on a very tight schedule and workers must be prepared to meet these deadlines. This can often make for a very chaotic and stressful environment, and employees frequently may be required to work overtime. Working nights, weekends, and holidays also is common, especially for those working on newspapers. The average nonsupervisory worker in newspaper publishing worked 33.0 hours per week in 2002, compared with 33.9 hours per week across all industries. Within periodical publishing, nonsupervisory workers worked an average of 36.1 hours per week, and 39.5 hours per week in book publishing. Part-time employment is significant in this industry, with 17 percent working part time. Newspaper distributors and drivers usually work 5 to 6 hours a day, often in the middle of the night. Also, some telephone advertising and classified sales representatives work part time.
Writers, editors, reporters, and correspondents have the most varied working conditions. Many work from home, particularly in book publishing, sending manuscripts back and forth using electronic mail. For most writers and reporters, travel is required to perform research and conduct interviews. News correspondents for large metropolitan newspapers or national news publications may be stationed in cities around the world, reporting on events in their territory.
Many advertising sales agents also travel in order to meet with potential customers, although some sell over the telephone. Rejection by clients and the need to meet quotas can be stressful for some agents.
At headquarters, many in publishing work in comfortable, private offices, while others-particularly at newspapers-work in large, noisy, cubicle-filled rooms. Classified advertising clerks and customer service representatives increasingly work in call-center environments, manning telephones much of the day. Newspaper pressrooms are manufacturing plants that can be noisy and dangerous if safety procedures are not followed, but computerization of the machines has reduced injuries. Occurrences of work-related injury and illness for 2002 in the publishing industry ranged from an average of 1.4 per 100 full-time workers in periodical publishing to 4.2 per 100 full-time workers in newspaper publishing, lower than the average of 5.3 for all private industry.