“The most likely to fall into such pattern are those of us who aspire to bring our whole self to work. That attitude is admirable and often necessary. We want to be all in. But then we find ourselves being always on.”
“In most businesses, we seldom value pace. If you run fast today, you’re asked to run faster tomorrow, and so on. We know that resting, at least once in a while, will make us healthier and more productive…but we choose to keep going, regardless.”
Are You Sacrificing for Your Work, or Just Suffering for It?
“You cannot get more “weekend” simply by taking an extra day off work yourself. If we were to take more time off as individuals, we would be likely to spend that time, as the jobless do, waiting for other people to finish work. We are stuck “at work,” in a sense, by the work schedules of our family and friends.”
I’ve been thinking about this a fair bit. A flexible job that allows weekend work for one partner whilst the other partner alternates looking after the kids seems like a good idea, but it just encourages us to solely work more and collectively spend less time together. There’s still something about the 9-5.
We are blessed with the technology that enables us to work every minute of every day from any place on the planet. So what this means, this incredible freedom of choice we have with respect to work, is that we have to make a decision, again and again and again, about whether we should or shouldn’t be working. We can go to watch our kid play soccer, and we have our cell phone on one hip, and our Blackberry on our other hip, and our laptop, presumably, on our laps. And even if they’re all shut off, every minute that we’re watching our kid mutilate a soccer game, we are also asking ourselves, “Should I answer this cell phone call? Should I respond to this email? Should I draft this letter?” And even if the answer to the question is “no,” it’s certainly going to make the experience of your kid’s soccer game very different than it would’ve been.
Barry Schwartz on the Paradox of Choice and how it applies to work
I work from home for a global company that is always on, which means I am always asking myself whether I should be working at any point. This makes it hard to relax, even if this answer is no I shouldn’t be.
I work from home for a 100% distributed company. A colleague recently shared this amusing emergency call dialogue from The New Yorker about the joys of working from home (and slowly losing the plot):
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