I’m not active in social media, but on the rare occasion that I do log into Facebook to take a gander at the goings on, I have noticed there are always several people who can’t wait for the weekend to get here sooner. It’s Monday morning and someone is hoping for the weekend! It got me thinking: What if we worked only on weekends and had the rest of the week off? A reverse week if you will. Would all the complaining and wishful thinking stop?
I must confess that I too have felt the weekday blues and wished for the weekend on many occasions. The workplace is rife with many stresses and challenges we would rather avoid, but cannot for obvious reasons. But, is the solution a shorter workweek or perhaps an improved work environment? Imagine having a two-day workweek and a five-day weekend! It sounds great, but I think we would still find something to complain about with a two-day workweek.
Management speaker and business visionary Patrick Lencioni, describes this as Job Misery. What exactly is a miserable job? Lencioni says, “A miserable job is not the same as a bad one.” A miserable job is one that makes a person cynical and frustrated and demoralized, hence the wishing for the weekend first thing on Monday morning. There is no enthusiasm to be at a miserable job because all you can think about is getting out.
How do we alleviate job misery? Misery only comes out of the lack of something. More companies realize that employees need something more to keep them contented and productive and are now offering flexible working hours, telecommuting and other perks that allow for life-work balance.
Some companies have taken it a step further, as illustrated in a recent article in yahoo finance, by offering their employees unlimited vacation time! Silicon Valley and many start-up companies find that offering unlimited vacation time gives them an edge in hiring and makes employees feel empowered and more accountable for their work, allowing them to be the best all rounded person they can be…and less miserable. The result? Less tardiness, fewer call-outs, no time wasted and increased productivity, thus saving companies millions of dollars.
So instead of my earlier suggested five-day weekend, we should look toward unlimited vacation time or more flexibility. The focus then becomes the quality of work we do, pride in our jobs and less misery.