Saturday, February 18, 2017

Days of our lives at Work and Workplace

Let's talk about Work and Workplace.

We spend around 40-45 hours a week at work, considering a 5-day work week.  It amounts to 26.7% of our week.  Over a long stretch of time, we must be spending at least 25% of our LIFE at work.  That's a quarter!  And considering we sleep for around 30%, work amounts to 38.1% of our conscious lives!

Those exclamations aren't just out of place.  It struck me like a brick.  It is common knowledge, but there is a difference between knowing something, realizing it and it cutting through your conscious.  It was an unnerving realization.  If I am miserable at work, I am unhappy for a quarter of my total life, and more than a third of my conscious life! That's 5 years in an active carrier of 20 years.

I went meta to understand what caused this sudden surge of spirituality; I concluded it could be mid life crisis, a time when career, personal life and unrequited dreams surface from their graves.  However philosophical it might seem, I gave it some thought.  We, the middle class working people, indeed do spend quite a lot of our life working.  It just does not make sense to be miserable at work.

The major factors causing distress, in my opinion, in decreasing order of wretchedness, would be:

1.  Supervisor/Manager/Boss
2.  Sense of Purpose - Kind of Work
3.  Pay
4.  Colleagues
5.  Workplace ergonomics

Some of these are out of an individual's control, after all we do not get to choose our boss.  I have also observed that no matter how awesome your workplace is, you are bound to get bored or annoyed of it at some point in time.  After all people leave the Googles and the Facebooks to join the Ubers and the Airbnbs.  But let's discount that case for this discussion.

In that case, from the above list, that leaves very little in our hands.  We can demand better conditions and more pay, or fake a sense of purpose, but that's about it.  What's the solution?  Honestly, I am not sure.  I would rather ride out the bad part of work whilst searching better opportunities.  I like to call it The Grunt, as Learned Helplessness never helps.  Again, it's very subjective, but chanting 'All Is Well' during finding a solution helps.  But the critical part is to keep looking for better in case of a bad workplace, and getting comfortable is quite impeding to this initiative.  And it's never too late, starting afresh does not mean a demoting experience.

As nicely stated in this article, "To not to have entirely wasted one's life seems to be a worthy accomplishment, if only for myself".