Most societies insist on productivity as the only solution to success. People believe that to achieve the goals they have to work round the clock. Goals could be in the form of career progression or more income. The pace was set about 200 years ago during the industrial revolution. Back then, the ideal worker was expected to work as many hours as possible and which was equated to productivity.
The notion of equating productivity with time is even worse today because of advancement in technology. Technology allows the coveted and hardworking employee to work from anywhere. For instance, it is possible to make calls while on transit. It is also possible to reply to an email while taking lunch. The future of work is even expected to allow people to work remotely from anywhere around the globe. All this is thanks to the rapid inventions and software that will allow people to complete tasks without having to commute to the office.
Yes, I advocate for productivity, but I also urge people to take some time off, time to relax and restore. Ideally, the brain works in such a way that if you push it to the extreme, it will burn out. Once that happens, productivity cannot be achieved. The body goes into a state of stress and the brain can only work to identify and deal with the cause of the stress. Meanwhile, no work can be done. In fact, such a worker will get paid for being in office while in reality; he or she isn’t in a state of productivity.
It, therefore, beats the logic of work ethic in the scenario where an employee goes to work, gets paid for doing nothing. Yes, I believe they get paid for nothing because, at that time when their bodies and mind are fatigued, they can’t achieve anything. Instead, they will concentrate on dealing with the challenges.
I feel that the reason why people are obsessed with productivity is that we live in a society where everyone wants to maintain a certain standard. Yes, we want to sustain lifestyles that we cannot if we don’t work endless hours each day. At the same time, most firms pay employees depending on the number of hours worked. In return, workers will work as many hours as possible to earn more money at the expense of their wellbeing.
As an entrepreneur, I love conducting research. I have discovered that the worker who works round the clock is not better off than one who works fewer hours. People who choose to work fewer hours and spend the rest of the time taking care of children, travelling, or even reading live a more fulfilled life. Well, I don’t imply that the people who work round the clock are failures. However, a person who takes time off to take care of their body and let go off any pressure from work feels better when they get down to work again.
So why would anyone push their body to extreme exhaustion? Is it because we place standards and lifestyle above our wellbeing? How about pampering the body that earns that enviable lifestyle? Why would anyone go to work just to be seen while in reality, it does not amount to any productivity? All these questions lead to what I Frieder F. Neidlinger would term as greed and the need to move with the masses.
All in all, I would urge everyone to always take time to refresh. That time when you feel frail and your body cannot push anymore. Take a nap or even a walk to clear your head. Take as much rest as your body demands. Do not fall into the pit of the masses where you have to work from dusk to dawn. Even as the wave of the future of work leads to remote working, set limits. Take care of your body and soul. Do not let work ethic be detrimental to your wellbeing.