Overworked or Working Hard?

Lately I’ve been frustrated with the lack of work/home balance I seem to be seeing everywhere in this American culture.

The idea that you have to work extra hours in order to show that you value your career and want to move up is, to me, incorrect and ridiculous.

I work a 40 hour a week job. I am an hourly employee so I have to make sure I do all my work in those 40 hours. For my supervisors and colleagues who are salaried, there is an expectation that they will work as much as they need to in order to get the job done. They often answer emails on the weekend, do notes at home and attend work events in the evening on top of a full day of work.

To me, that should not be rewarded as having a “good work ethic”. Consequently, those who only work the 40 hours they are paid for should not be penalized and demoted because they aren’t “dedicated to their job”.

Maybe our society should look instead at positions that require so much work and adjust them accordingly. Hire more people to do that job. Adjust the job description.

But that would require that American’s place a value on something other than work.

My husband and I debated this topic last night. He does not completely agree with me…

He feels that working extra shows commitment to the mission/goal. Rather than leaving in the middle of a task because they are done with their shift, people who stay extra care about the final product and are invested in the company/outcome. Those are the people who get promoted.

I, on the other hand, think that people who can complete their work in the time given show time management and responsibility. Those are the people I want to promote. Additionally, if the people that I am supervising have to stay extra to finish their tasks (and they have proven to have good time management and work ethic) then I need to look at myself as a supervisor and adjust the work I am assigning…not blame them for not being “dedicated” enough overwork themselves.

I think that our society has put such a value on work that it has come to a point where other parts of life are less valued and respected.

The idea that I don’t want to stay late to finish my notes does not mean that I don’t love and value my job, I just value my family as well.

As nicely summarized by an article on Thought Catalog: overworking is not success; it is not the same thing as working hard or paying your dues.

Agree? Disagree?

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