Bragging about being overworked makes people think you’ve got bank
So much for the leisure class.
The wealthy are becoming more likely to flaunt spending their time at work over spending their money at play.
The long, boozy lunches and poolside selfies at exotic escapes are being replaced by #humblebrags about “having no life” or desperately needing a vacation, according to a new Journal of Consumer Research report. The study noted that while the upper class has historically flaunted lives of leisure and conspicuous consumption of expensive products to show off their status, a busy and overworked lifestyle has now become an aspirational American status symbol.
The authors surveyed American and Italian citizens to compare and contrast their associations between work and play and economic status. And while the Italians still shared the traditional view that a leisure class embodies the most money to spend, Americans perceive busyness at work with having higher status, instead.
“The more we believe that people have the opportunity or social affirmation based on hard work, the more we tend to think that people who skip leisure and work all the time are of higher standing,” the authors concluded.
They also found that busybodies conspicuously buy goods that showcase their busyness, which reinforces how bougie they are. So getting groceries delivered from Peapod carries as much social status as shopping at the more expensive Whole Foods, because getting food delivered shows you don’t have the time for something as mundane as shopping in an actual supermarket.
And that might explain why 55% of American workers don’t take all of their paid vacation days. Or if they do get away, 61% admit to still working while they’re supposed to be off, despite their families’ complaints.
But keep in mind that working overtime can work against you. Research shows that employee productively drops after a 50-hour work-week, and plummets after 55 hours. So putting in those 15 extra hours doesn’t produce anything more than added stress. Unless you want to look important.
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