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From a generation that entered the workforce in the middle of America’s worst recession, we tend to overcompensate in the workplace because of it. 43 percent of us believe ourselves to be “work martyrs,” doing everything in our power to sacrifice ourselves for our jobs so that when the next downturn hits, we won’t be filing for unemployment like we saw many of our friends and family members do in 2009. However, this work is killing our souls, and Silicon Valley is noticing.
After Amazon cut employee work hours by 25 percent, company Basecamp started to redefine how millennials work by introducing a new “Work Can Wait” policy. Going one step further than simply telling employees not to worry about working after leaving the office, but by creating a program that’s essentially like an out-of-office message for yourself. You’ll program in the hours you’d like to work, and after you leave work, Basecamp restricts you from getting office notifications until you go back into work the next day. For many of us, this may seem panic-inducing, but once you realize this program was created and initiated by the company’s founders, it’s starting to sound pretty cool.
But do these employees feel bad about leaving the office at 5 o’clock sharp? I know I do. However, the research shows something completely different. With more limited work hours, not only do we have better physical and mental well-being, but we’re more productive with our short time and actually get just as much – if not more! – work done. Crazy, I know. In some alternate reality out there, you could actually turn off your phone after work, ignore your boss’s emails, and still be an all-star employee. It’s absolutely mind-boggling.
While we don’t all work for Silicon Valley start-ups, taking some of this philosophy into our everyday lives could definitely still improve our lives. Change your mindset from the procrastinating nature you acquired in college and decide that once you leave the office, you’re done with work until you get back the next day. Instead of slacking off, do your best to be productive in the office, knowing that working from home shouldn’t be an option. I know, it’s easier said than done, but the positive benefits that come from a shortened work week can help you to with a change in mindset. Be productive during the day, stop scrolling through Facebook articles, and get to work so you can actually enjoy your time off later this evening. It’ll be better for you, better for your employer, and better for your attitude. I promise. .