Functioning in a Work-First Culture
Erin Reid coined the term “cult of busy” to describe the way our workforce has become: jobs come first in the hierarchy and constant availability is the expectation. With the increased ability to always have your work at your fingertips (e.g. email linked to your phone), the assumption of 24/7 accessibility has only intensified – and continues to do so.
Working all the time should lead to more productivity, right? Wrong-o. Harvard Business Review and The New York Times have shared studies and stories of the problems that arise from constant work – employees crying and passing out from exhaustion, high turnover rates, and lack of diversity among your workforce being among them.
So how are we coping with this ever-growing demand for the 24/7 workplace? Quite disfunctionally, as discussed by Huff Post writer Emily Peck. She talks about three ways we are “adapting” to the work-all-the-time demand.
Just give in and work all the time. Give up the deep relationships, community engagement, and physical well-being for the job. Just keep plugging away until you reach the burnout stage.
The “fake it” strategy for coping. Technology makes it easy to be working wherever you are…and equally as easy to fake that you are working wherever you are. Talk about a large window for rampant disengagement.
Some people actually ask for flex time and limits. However, this is often met with penalties and/or disappointment for not always putting work first. “Are you going to be a professional or are you going to be just an average person in your field?”
So now that we are aware that this is the culture we are currently working in, what do we do about it? Emily mentions that the only solution is through collective action – banding together to try and make collective movements toward recognizing the “always on” moments, finding bosses and co-workers that don’t work weekends, and stopping the scheduling of meetings at 5 p.m.
Read more about the effects of the 24/7 workplace: 3 Dysfunctional Ways We’ve Adapted To The Hell Of The 24/7 Workplace
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