"An always-on workplace isn’t enlightened – it’s toxic." | Couple's Net | Chandrama Anderson | Mountain View Online |

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By Chandrama Anderson

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About this blog: I am a LMFT specializing in couples counseling and have lived in and around Palo Alto since 1969. I worked in high-tech at Apple, Stanford University, and in Silicon Valley for 15 years before becoming a therapist. My background i...  (More)

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"An always-on workplace isn’t enlightened – it’s toxic."

Uploaded: Mar 9, 2017
I hear couples say they are too busy to spend time together. They work too much. I see long, long work hours in every couple who comes in. And it takes a toll. Couples lose connection, communication, and soon after that, their sex life drops off.

Seems people are worried that if they don’t work long, crazy hours, they will lose their job. Other people get more satisfaction at work than at home, so working is preferable. Either one needs a change.

I read a great article called “The New Company Clock, An always-on workplace isn’t enlightened – it’s toxic. And it’s up to you to shut it off.” The article is by Jason Fried in the March 2017 issue of Inc. magazine.

Here are a few quotes that ring true and affect couples:

“Companies protect their brand with trademarks, their data and trade secrets with rules and policies, and their money with budgets, CFOs. . . . Many of them are guilty of one glaring omission . . . they leave wide open and vulnerable: their employees’ time.

Companies spend their employees’ time and attention as if there were an infinite supply of both . . . Yet workers’ time and attention are the most precious resources we have.
If companies spent money as recklessly as they spend time, they’d be going out of business.

Many CEOs think being an enlightened, competitive company means you’re always on. . . . It’s a frivolous mindset. It causes people to burn out and resent work. It can even lead to their leaving.

When you hire someone, you don’t own that person. . . . “Company time” is the employee’s, to do work for the company.”

Take the article to your boss and see what you jointly can creatively come up with to get to a 40 hour schedule in which you get your work done, and it’s done well.
Then spend more time with your sweetie. Your wife or husband will appreciate having dinner with you, going for walks together, listening to music, and other things you both enjoy. You’ll be able to prioritize your marriage – and have your partner see and feel that you are doing so.

Doing work that is more than 40 hours at home in the evenings or on weekends is a choice. Answering work email and texts at all hours is your choice, too.

Maybe by now you’re accustomed to being “on” all the time. Not checking your phone constantly will feel abnormal. It’s Pavlov’s dog syndrome. The text or email dings, and you have to respond. You’ve trained your brain to have a neural pathway for this; and the brain welcomes it. Yet, it’s a choice. You have to create a new neural pathway and the only way to do that is to create boundaries and stick to them.

Of course things come up at work sometimes that require extra. But don’t let your precious time for your company or your marriage be wasted.

It starts with you, and ends up with a happier marriage. You’re in each others’ care, after all.

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