Are you an emergency room doctor or nurse?
Are you an EMT?
Are you in charge of getting relief supplies to victims of a natural disaster?
Do you own your business, and if that business fails will you be homeless?
Will people die if you don’t work 24/7?
If you’ve answered no to all those questions, and you find yourself working all the time, you need to ask yourself why? If you work in a job where there’s pressure to be always on, you need to ask yourself why? And if you are a manager driving your staff to regularly work nights and weekends, you need to ask yourself why, because that’s not the kind of leadership we all need right now.
Even in the face of the great resignation I have clients working in places that celebrate workaholism. Where you get promoted for putting in the 60-hour weeks because that means you’re ‘really committed.’ Where lip service is paid to work-life balance but you know the boss expects you to always choose work.
I wrote recently about a study in the Harvard Business Review about the insidious and ever-accumulating stress that is commonly felt in the workplace. It is not a gross exaggeration to say that some organizations are trauma factories.
Many of us have our working lives so intertwined with our identities that we don’t know what to do with ourselves when we’re not working. It’s kind of like smoking or riding a motorcycle without a helmet; it’s not healthy but it’s your choice. But do not impose that choice on others.
Of course your work is important, but it’s not that important.