Taking some of the examples of my past blog about the importance of being off Sunday’s and Holidays, we need to talk about how we devolved to become success obsessed people in the workforce and spend their time working so much that they don’t go home to their families and is one of the prime culprit in divorces is being away from their loved ones. Why do we become obsessed with our own success that we abandon the people we settle with, maybe the Millennials have decided to not get attached to other people and settle down like they did 50-60 years ago? In the past we focused on a balance of work, play, and sleep (8 hours work, 8 hours free, and 8 hours sleep) given balance to slip the sleep in between play, that play includes spending time with their families. Work-Life Balance needs to be a centerpiece of any workforce because one can succeed without spending all their lives working to the point they have to go into a twelve-step program for workaholics.
The idea of having that kind of balance is necessary to the stability of the family life, we had a very low divorce rate during the days of the baby boomers and the rates rose over time because of so many other factors, but one factor that I believe is a factor in the later decades has been the time away from families to where someone is working two or three jobs and spending most of their time working because of the need to succeed, success can be done in a smaller amount of time and one person working constantly to the point all they do is work and sleep. People need something to do between work and sleep that is not work and people who do not have lives outside of work really need to have something to have fun. Taking a lesson from the movie The Shining is one of the most notable lines some businesses need to take heart even in a logic filled business environment— “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”, the efforts to be successful is more than just being obsessive about work, but that same obsession over work may not be voluntary because of the low pay they have to work 2 full time or up to 4 part time jobs just to make enough for one good paying full time job. In some worse case scenarios, people work themselves into madness because they only work. I know that feeling because during a desperate time, I worked as much as I can to the point work was the escape. I was part of the problem by willing to work on holidays just to get by.
I want people to take the time and find the benefits of limiting your work time to make the balance of life-work-sleep can make people better in the world. The Europeans are take the work life balance idea very seriously, the Spanish already do that because they take the balance of the three very seriously in society. Another issue that some people might face with and a workaholic might enjoy a lot is Mandatory Overtime, which I strongly oppose because it would be taken as forced labor. No worker should be forced to worked overtime at all, working overtime should be voluntarily, never forced. We have become more about the pursuit of wealth and embraced a vain existence. We as Americans spend too much time working because of either a maddening obsession of success by working too much or we have become so desensitized to the play and sleep part of the balance that people never take any vacations, none ever ask if they get a vacation, some even go to another temporary job during their vacation.
A person’s life should not be all work, limit the workload to 6-8 hours a day and allow enough time in between for a thirty-minute nap with an hour-long lunch (don’t forget the 15-minute breaks.) working too much with any breaks. Speaking of overworking in a sector is trucking, that has one of the biggest incidents of overworking in any sector because the Long-Distance Truck Drivers are usually alone and given deadlines that are sometimes impossible because of unforeseen incidents like traffic accidents and fatigue.
How do we solve this? Well, as for the stationary workers in a workplace like the restaurant industry, breaks should be mandatory during the work shift and require employers to give a break during the work day and a lunch break for the workers, so they can eat at the right time of the day for lunch. Letting minimum wage workers especially in food service jobs that have a lunch break will make the worker stay longer in longevity because giving a break to the workers on a regular basis will give more than time to eat, it will give them time to relax and de-stress from a potentially hectic work day, but for the Long Distance Truck Drivers, there needs to be some needs to be address if the deliver time frame has no time allowed for breaks, lunches, dinners, restroom stops, and sleep. There needs to be two truck drivers in each truck, each driving no more than 12 hours a day and switch out on a regular basis during their trips as well as allowing time for food breaks plus the second driver can serve as navigator and planner in case of any issues that may arise during the trip. That way one driver can get some sleep and ret while the other driver does the driving. Lack of rest and relaxation has made our entire workforce and country a dull one.