Is working smarter foolish?

By Braden Kelley via innovationexcellence.com   Article

“Why is that we lionize the workaholics among us and penalize those that find ways to be more efficient?

Why is that we say ‘thank you for working so hard’ to someone who takes sixty hours to complete a task and penalize the person who figures out how to do it in twenty hours by giving them more work to do?

Out of one side of our mouth we talk about the importance of work life balance and out of the other side we praise those who worked the weekend. What’s worse, we often also speak behind the back of those who find a way to leave promptly at 5 PM every day, and look down upon them instead of admiring them.

There is the old saying ‘Work smarter, not harder’, but what’s the point when you get punished for doing so? Where’s the reward?

We reward companies for getting more efficient and more profitable by raising their stock price. Where’s the reward for the individual for finds a way to get more efficient?

And why do people who work neither hard or smart get a free ride? I am reminded of the saying ‘If you want something done, give it to a busy person.’

The attitudes about work in our society that make this quote a truism, along with the penalties for working smarter, make it nearly impossible to achieve work life balance in our culture unless you’re lazy and difficult to fire. …

So, what could we do better as organizations and leaders to teach people how to be more efficient in their jobs and have the foresight to let them use that improved efficiency to allow them to go home at a decent hour to their families?

We must remember, all parents have another job to go home to, and single employees have passions to explore that work probably is not fulfilling.”

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