Dr Wu who wrote about the resignation tsunami anticipated for Singapore, recently introduced us to the idea of bored-out (as opposed to burn-out); apparently it is not a new idea though. What I found hard to reconcile with was the idea of sinecure which involves a position that is actually paid but ‘without work’. Maybe the harsh psychological impact is really in the sense that you’re expected to ‘work’ but then there isn’t work. And there’s that added psychological impact of being paid, expected to produce something and yet allowed none.
Even if your deeper purpose isn’t aligned well with a job, it is important that we see what the role that we have is serving. Even if it’s cleaning a space, we ought to be conscious how we are improving the health and environment of those in that space. Of course, being able to interact with the beneficiary of the work helps. But often we don’t get the chance for the direct feedback.
I think there is truly some severe psychological harm in depriving people of making that connection, creating meaning and purpose from the work. But the truth is baring the extreme case of the Frenchman cited as a case, it is difficult that a company would be so extreme in treating an employee. It is important for the company to help employees appreciate the vital nature of their jobs as well and how it falls in place in the grand scheme of things. Rather than to make them feel like they are amongst just a bunch of replaceable cogs moving a heartless system. Fear is a great short-term motivator of work, but also a great motivator for people to leave.
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