Laura St Clair

News

'Business porn' is ruining lives and making people less productive

Stop getting off on being busy.

You're busy. So so busy.

You're too busy to meetup for drinks, too busy to call your mum, too busy to go to the gym, too busy to fall in love. You complain about it, but you're also addicted to it.

Being busy makes us feel important, ambitious, successful. We trick ourselves into thinking that if we're constantly trying to catch our breath, then we’re winning.

For some, staying at work late is a sense of achievement... what a buzz it must be to send an e-mail out to everyone at 7.30pm so they know you were the last one to leave (you can also do this by setting a delay on your e-mail by the way 😉).

With programmes like The Apprentice, Dragon's Den (th US have Shark Tank) and so many other entrepreneur-inspired programmes, the glorification of working long hours on multiple projects is toxic - especially in the tech industry.

'Business porn' is one of the most dangerous things right now.

Much of this comes from the States where there is this notion that unless you are suffering, grinding,  and working every hour of every day and posting about it, you’re not working hard enough.

It’s such utter bullshit.

But keeping down a 8-to-6 job (the new 9-to-5) isn’t enough anymore. You're also expected to have "multiple streams of income" with some side-businesses, perhaps a weekend stall, a self-published e-book as well as 3 or 4 trendy hobbies to top it all off.

It’s destroying our health and not achieving great deal.

A study that looked into working habits found that being overly busy is actually damaging for your career. Those who said they worked ‘very intensely’ were associated with poorer career outcomes.

So that person who comes in early and stays late every night may not be better at their job, or more hardworking – they might actually just be inefficient. Busy, yes. Productive? Unlikely.

Peter Lawrence, a HR expert and Director of Human Capital Department says:

"There are very good reasons not to get into the habit of long hours culture – a large study of over 6,000 British Civil Servants found that those who worked over ten hours per day were 60% more likely to suffer from heart disease."

Employers naturally want employees to be engaged at work and ready to go the extra mile, and this is positive, but it becomes a problem if there is an expectation to work long hours regularly because home life, and other duties will start to slide. That’s when the work/life balance gets out of proportion."

The busier we are, the more important we seem and therefore think we are giving the impression that we are invaluable. We want everyone to know how busy we are to protect ourselves, to protect our jobs and to protect our character.

It’s difficult out there. In an unstable economy with jobs being cut daily, we all want to impress by working harder and longer hours for less reward. Sometimes it can feel as though there is no alternative other than to be part of a system that gives blood, sweat, and tears to your boss.

But it’s important to work out your goals and then only complete tasks that add value in helping you to reach them. The world has moved on from the constant hustle shown in programmes such as The Apprentice and there are plenty of opportunities to gain certification in new skills or work-from-home for companies that respect the work/life balance and share your values.


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