3 in 10 workers are now too busy to grab a coffee in the office
Nearly three in ten (29%) workers say that they don’t drink coffee at work because they are too busy or don’t have time to do it, according to a survey released last week of more than 8,000 workers conducted by polling organization YouGov.
Though that study looked at European workers, you can bet many American workers feel the same. Indeed, a survey of U.S. and Canadian office workers and managers by Staples found that more than a quarter of workers don’t take any breaks throughout the day other than to eat their lunch; the main reason they cited was that they feel they “can’t.” Another survey found that many workers are too busy to eat lunch anywhere but their desks.
Looking busy is now a status symbol at work, experts say. “It’s the new badge of honor,” says executive coach Marc Dorio. “If you’re not busy you’re not seen as being important.” Call to Career founder Cheryl Palmer adds that “in many workplaces there is a push to appear busy all the time” with the issue being “not so much how much you actually produce” but “that you have many irons in the fire — or at least appear to.” And sometimes, she adds, that kind of behavior gets “rewarded by promotions.” Or at the very least gets rewarded by someone avoiding a pink slip, adds New York City-based success strategist, Carlota Zimmerman.
This new office ‘status symbol’ shows exactly how depressing work really is https://t.co/4uO972qOvX
— Moneyish (@Moneyish) October 5, 2017
It’s to the point that people even brag about being super busy at work. “There’s tremendous societal/professional pressure to be seen as ‘busy’ … as ‘important, valuable, useful, and in-the-loop’ at work. How many of us love to brag that we’re too busy to take vacations, or read books, or spend time with family?,” says Zimmerman.
Of course, some of this busyness is that we work more than we did in decades past, with the average American who is employed full-time working about 47 hours per week, according to Gallup. And about 18% of them work more than 60 hours a week.
But this cult of busyness is about more than just people working more and a needing to look important by seeming busy. “We’re distracted more than ever,” explains Katie Bennett, the co-founder of career coaching firm Ama la Vida. “On-demand emails, social media, instant messenger, text messages. There’s not a minute that goes by where one doesn’t feel like some form information is coming at them from some direction. And this makes them feel very busy, even if they’re not actually accomplishing much.”
But perhaps most depressing is that for some busyness has become an addition, says Bennett. “We don’t know what to do when we’re not busy, and so – consciously or subconsciously – we find more things to keep ourselves busy. This then becomes a habit,” she says. “Busyness has become an addiction.”
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