How to pull workers back from the brink of burnout

How to pull workers back from the brink of burnout

Mercedes De Luca is the chief operating officer at Basecamp . During her more than 20 years working at tech companies in e-commerce and software, Mercedes has served as CEO at MyShape, vice president of global information technology at Yahoo! and vice president and general manager of internet commerce for Sears. How to join the network In August, Marissa Mayer kicked up a dust bowl of criticism when she told Bloomberg Businessweek that Google’s early success had a lot to do with 130-hour work weeks. There was plenty of outrage — but none of it will do the average American knowledge worker a bit of good. The 130-hour workweek backlash doesn’t move us toward more sane working lives for ourselves or for the teams we lead. Actually, it sets us back. “We’re not nearly that bad,” we can say, and congratulate ourselves because, in our organizations, we only work 12-hour days. Or we only work Sundays when it’s important or to “get ahead of the week.” Or we only work at night after the kids have gone to sleep. After all, we have great benefits, we’re focused on work we like to do and, heck, it’s better than a minimum-wage job where we could get fired for taking a couple of emergency sick days. However, just because basic job protections for low-wage workers in the United States are continually under siege, and depressing, that doesn’t mean knowledge workers aren’t getting gamed, too. Too many professionals think they should feel “lucky,” “honored” and “chosen” as their work steals their time, health and well-being. What’s the win in this game? A big payout from stock options after three years of indentured startup servitude? Multiple no-shows at important events with your family? Pointing fingers at the most extreme examples of white-collar sweatshops […]