DY: In Just a Few Words (#18)
A full day of work is highly overrated.
As the world of work is slowly opening up again, we have arrived at a moment of truth ..... and the truth is America is on the edge of becoming a lazy nation. Very lazy.
A lot has been written about the workplace of the future and how technology will replace workers, how we will telecommute from our home offices and so on. What very few of us are talking about is the broad trend toward working less.
Our basic non-Leap Year calendar has 365 days a year. Begin by subtracting 104 of those days for weekends. That leaves 261 days for work, or does it?
My extensive research shows there are 10 federal holidays plus an extra one every four years for Inauguration Day when a presidential term begins, and most newly minted Presidents start their job by not working on day one. President Biden set a bad example by working, but let’s assume the next President will not work on the first day. So, subtract 11 days for federal holidays to accommodate Inauguration Day. Now we are down to a potential 250 workdays.
Then there are days that surround holidays. Christmas Eve. The day after Thanksgiving. Good Friday. And, so on. Everyone stretches those as far as they can. Let’s round those off to another five days or so. Now we are at 245.
Let’s say we average 15 vacation days a year. New subtotal is 230.
Subtract another 10 days for being sick. It’s good to take those days off even when we’re not sick. They’re great for activities like bowling or fishing. New subtotal is 220.
In some states like Michigan, big companies give workers a day off for the start of deer hunting season. 219.
What self-respecting management would fail to grant a day off for your birthday? 218.
And, many companies such as the one I worked for celebrate Quarter Days. Employees can use those four days for important personal business like going to the dentist or seeing a divorce lawyer. Bingo – 214.
And, it wouldn’t be accurate if we forgot to give everyone the equivalent of another two days for family emergencies, funerals or school conferences. 212.
Respected academic studies show that even when we are at work, most of us are not engaged to any great extent. This is known by the technical term “screwing around time.” So, it’s probably fair to conclude that perhaps only half of the time we are at work we are really working. That means 212 work days @50% efficiency must be reduced to 106 actual workdays. Give or take a day or so, 106 workdays means most of us are not working 259 days out of a possible 365.
Sounds good to me. I don’t know about you, but I’m too busy livin’ life to be bothered with who’s working and how much. No time for that when there are trips to take and golf courses to play. I never let the so-called dignity of work get in the way of having fun. Fore!
DY: In Just a Few Words is a blog that comes out when something needs to be said or every Tuesday - whichever comes first. Davis Young is a communications professional who adds 50+ years of experience and perspective to issues of the day. His emphasis in DY: In Just a Few Words will be humor (a touch of sarcasm here, a pinch of facetiousness there...). Once in a while, he will touch on something a bit more serious - but hopefully not too deep or depressing.
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