Jason Fried has a terrific post on Medium titled “The Managerial Entitlement Complex” which touches on something I have been thinking about on and off for a while: our attitude towards work versus “not-work”.
Paying someone a salary doesn’t mean you own them. It means they work for you. During work. Work is not always, work is sometimes. If a manager thinks work is always or whenever they want it to be, they have an entitlement complex.
I responded to Fried’s post with some of my thoughts on this:
Isn’t this idea that work trumps everything else a curious one?
On the one hand it is understandable to think that it does. After all, we need to earn a living and we often need to make personal sacrifices at times.
On the other hand, taking care of ourselves and our families is far more important.
You simply can’t function effectively if you are constantly working and pushing yourself. Humans just don’t work that way.
In addition, you don’t receive extra points for neglecting your family (at least not any points that count in the bigger picture).
So why do we buy into this idea so readily?
This isn’t to say that our jobs may never intrude on our personal lives. As Fried points out:
Are there exceptions? Occasionally, yes. True emergencies or crisis are also exempt, of course, but those should happen once or twice a year, if that. And if they’re happening more frequently, there’s an even deeper problem with the company, the culture, and the quality. More hours ain’t gonna fix that.
It’s worth reading his full post. It isn’t very long.
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