I have been saying for years that our society is becoming more in tune and forward thinking with the environment, technology, and health. We have made strides to make real changes in almost all areas of life to try to create a better future for generations to come. Good for us, right? Yes, at least mostly. The one area that I think is going backward instead of forward is business. We have created technology to make us more efficient so shouldn’t that decrease the amount of time spent at work?
How many of you just shook your head? Horizontally or vertically?
Who decided that people should be working 5 days a week and only have 2 days to spend with family and friends? I think I know more about my coworkers than I do family members. During the week, we literally only have about 4 hours each day to ourselves. And how many of us actually only work 8 hours a day (or even only have one job)? Thanks a lot technology. How can we be so progressive in all other areas of life yet seem to be going backwards concerning our work lives? We should not be defined solely by our success in business but by our success in life. I am pretty sure my kids won’t sit around when I am gone and fondly reminisce about that time I met a crazy deadline that got me a promotion but made me miss their birthday party.
Stress from work interferes with both our health and our marriages yet we choose to continue to work the same way because that is how it has always been.
“Increased levels of job stress as assessed by the perception of having little control but lots of demands have been demonstrated to be associated with increased rates of heart attack, hypertension and other disorders.”
“Job stress is one of the major causes of arguments between couples.”
So, I can’t just offer up a problem without a solution. However, there really is no correct answer. We just need someone to start a trend that really focuses on work/life balance. Not just talk about it in meetings but actually do something. It is time for change. Sitting at a desk in front of a computer for 8 hours a day is so last year. Lets innovate around work – how can we make it better?
1. Start enforcing a 4 day work week. People can choose their extra day off.
2. Allow for a little fun during the day. Offer a stress relief area onsite.
3. Encourage people not to answer/send email during off time. Make it a policy. (And don’t reward those who violate it)
4. Create opportunities for teams to brainstorm each week in a fun way. Maybe even off-site.
5. Allow some flex time off during the day to attend things like recitals, spelling bees, dentist appointments, or be a room mom/dad.
I understand that these are all wishful thinking but even starting with something simple would be helpful.
Life is so precious and we only get one try. Call me crazy, but I think we could do some really cool things with the future of work.
Time to think outside the box…What is one thing you would change about the way we work now?
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