Even if a man’s whole day be spent as a servant of an industrial concern, in his spare time he will make something, if only a window box flower garden. ((Eric Gill, An Essay on Typography, 2nd paragraph, via laudator temporis acti, accessed 200915))
A job is not the only work you do. Equating paid employment with work is at the root of the “work-life balance” discussion going nowhere.
What is your craft? What is the thing you do in your spare time? And if the answer is “what is spare time?”, therein lies the rub.
We might need to revisit our view of “time is money”, keep and eye on the family-to-work spillover effect, and wonder what is this life if, full of care, we have no time to stand and stare?.
There are 120,000 excess deaths per year attributed to ten workplace conditions and they cause approximately $190 billion in incremental health care costs. That makes the workplace the fifth leading cause of death in the U.S. — higher than Alzheimer’s, higher than kidney disease.
- Being unemployed sometimes as a result of a layoff.
- Not having health insurance.
- Working shifts and also working longer periods, e.g., ten or twelve-hours shifts.
- Working long hours in a week (e.g., more than 40 hours per week).
- Job insecurity (resulting from colleagues being laid off or fired).
- Facing family-to-work and work-to-family spillover or conflict.
- Having relatively low control over one’s job e.g., workload.
- Facing high work demands such as pressure to increase productivity and to work quickly.
- Being in a work environment that offers low levels of social support (e.g., not having close relationships with co-workers.
- Working in a setting in which job- and employment-related decisions seem unfair.
Both articles report the findings published by Jeffrey Pfeffer in Dying for a Paycheck: How Modern Management Harms Employee Health and Company Performance—and What We Can Do About It.
I have not read the book yet, but I definitely will.
research shows that it doesn’t always meet expectations.
Food for thought on the topic of work and non-work, and the false dichotomy between work and life.
via The Road to Wigan Pier:
There are in fact very few activities which cannot be classed either as work or play according as you choose to regard them. The labourer set free from digging may want to spend his leisure, or part of it, in playing the piano, while the professional pianist may be only too glad to get out and dig at the potato patch. Hence the antithesis between work, as something intolerably tedious, and not-work, as something desirable, is false. The truth is that when a human being is not eating, drinking, sleeping, making love, talking, playing games, or merely lounging about—and these things will not fill up a lifetime—he needs work and usually looks for it, though he may not call it work.
They came to play
, a film by Alex Rotaru
chronicles the 2007 edition of the competition, which is held in Texas and open to those 35 and older who do not play professionally. It has run on an irregular schedule since it started in 1999. The next one, in May, will be the sixth. Some contestants have had advanced musical training; others have developed a natural talent mostly on their own. The proficiency they display at the keyboard is thrilling to see; whatever your own hobby is, you are likely to be awed by how much better these people are at theirs. (NYTimes.com).
In praise of the amateur – the one who does something for the love of doing it.
In praise of the 35 and older who nurture their talent and passion outside the realm of revenue making.