Common comments often heard were: ‘Why should we bend over backwards if management is not committed to us,’ and ‘just because I’m single and childless doesn’t mean I have the will or the desire to work a 12-hour day, six days a week.’
There is a hierarchy of work-life needs that if unmet result in workplace tension, work dissatisfaction, and marital conflict. The most basic worklife need is individual respect followed by balancing time on and off the job, and work flexibility.
What does your customer or employer want, require, and expect of you? Can you meet these? What are the tradeoffs? The following story may make some sense. When I tell people that on ‘death march’ projects, I’ve worked 80 hour weeks, they’ll say ‘oh yeah.’ Impossible! You’re kidding!
Well I wondered if I’m a minority. I talked with many people, self-employed professionals, small business owners, members of special projects, senior managers, and software programmers. Some customers or employers expect these horrible hours and tradeoffs. Many creative, self-employed people put in very long and hard hours as a norm to get work done.
Employees are also working long and hard to get their jobs done. The 40-hour workweek is long gone for many of us and 50 or more is all too common. ‘Finding balance’ and ‘getting a life’ have become more important among Brand U’s.