16 Jun What does hard work actually mean?
Three months of living in a COVID-affected world has given us a new perspective on work habits.
After endlessly worrying about deadlines and KPIs, we suddenly realised our very livelihoods were at stake.
Had things spiralled out of control, overflowing hospitals and an even more severe recession would have made our lives even more chaotic.
Now that the morning commute is busy once again and businesses are getting back on track, we should use this new perspective to reassess our attitudes to work. Running ourselves ragged cannot be the status quo any longer.
We have the ability to focus on efficiency over enervation; quality over quantity. Let’s take advantage of this opportunity to reset.
For too long, the prevailing attitude to work has been over-simplified: work hard.
But do we ever think about what working hard actually means?
Does it mean working endless long hours, juggling 10 tasks at once and spending time away from family to show dedication?
Or could it also mean creating effective strategies to make you work efficiently while balancing this with your personal life?
If the latter sounds more unfamiliar than the former, there’s something wrong with our workplace culture.
We have continuously allowed ourselves to fall into the trap of thinking that working as hard as possible as much as possible makes us good employees.
On the contrary, working ourselves to the bone will not make us efficient or feel any real dedication to our employers.
Instead, we just become robots endlessly working through to-do lists without any consideration or our family’s wellbeing or our own.
Setting a flexible work schedule for all employees allows for a healthier work-life balance which in turn, will make for a happier workforce more likely to work efficiently.
It’s completely illogical to expect consistent, high-quality work from people unable to take a breather to actually enjoy life.
Change has to come from the top. Only an acceptance of the need to let employees work more flexibly will allow them to flourish.
We need to rid ourselves of the old-fashioned attitude that constantly slaving away is the surest path to great performance. Changing culture costs nothing but it can change everything for the better.
Employees are human beings and they should be treated as such. It’s okay to want a work-life balance, to need time away from work and to have below-average days.
Once we accept that there’s a different way of working hard, we can enjoy the benefits of a healthier, happier work environment.