Greetings from Washington, D.C.
Residents of your Nation’s Capital are sick and reeling. We just attended a performance of “My Fair Lady” at the Kennedy Center, and, were 360-degrees surrounded by sick people. When we arrived home, it was all that I could do to place all of my clothes in the washer and then take a hot shower.
So far, so good.
There are many reasons for our high rate of illness. Certainly, poor hygiene is a key factor, but we also get sick when fatigued, overwhelmed at work, and are unhappy.
Many of us started 2020 resolved to find a new job. According to Inc. Magazine, about 16 percent of the workforce or 53 million people will think about switching jobs or careers. That’s certainly a large number of people.
66 percent or 145 million of us, feel some degree of disengagement with work. If, as I pointed out in our podcast episode streamed yesterday, that number of people were suddenly felled by Influenza we would be thrust into a national crisis: our airports and schools would close, the National Guard would deploy, and our economy would grind to a halt.
We Need a Happiness Index for Meaningful Work
I don’t want to be accused of channeling Marianne Williamson, but I do give her credit for fully understanding what work and other stressors do to make us sick and miserable. We need to reimagine the number of people seeking work, and, the degree to which the workforce feels engaged. Our current metrics apply to people seeking full-time work, but they fail to consider how well people live their lives.
Congress must redirect the Bureau of Labor Statistics to reimagine work well beyond full-time employment and basic compensation, to how well work provides meaningful benefit.
When we achieve that, our best days lie ahead.
DAN SMOLEN is founder of The Dan Smolen Experience, LLC. He is also the executive producer and host of The Tightrope Meaningful Work Podcast. Please comment here to let us know how we are doing, and, to offer suggestions for future guests and topics.
Photo credit: Ailing worker, iStock Photo; Marianne Williamson Portrait, Marianne.com.