Tuesday, June 02, 2015
One of the first lessons a PR practitioner learns is that people aren't rational. This fact took decades for economists to learn. The burgeoning field of behavioral economics is a testament to the truth that people often work against their best interests because of risk aversion. What to make then of men who work long hours to compete with peers for no good reason? They gain little from doing so except bragging rights and an early grave. Yet, they continue to stay at their desks long after normal work hours have ended. I've never been a believer in doing that. In fact, it seems to me that those who work late often work inefficiently. If they organized their day and workload, chances are they would get out on time more frequently and learn to enjoy life. Work should not be the sole reason for existence. Unfortunately, in some cultures it was -- such as Japan -- where salarymen barely made it home by 11pm to fall into bed drunk and exhausted. Eventually, Japan's managers came to their senses, and there is less of that workaholic tendency in the country today. The rational position is to maintain balance in one's work-life. That many don't is one more sign that reason is not the sole driving force of human endeavor.