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Editor's Note

Work to Live, Not Live to Work

Younger generations don’t lack a work ethic, so much as they have gained a life ethic.




EACH YEAR, I always feel like I know how the Big Survey is going to pan out… men are getting paid more than women, no one can keep good staff, and everyone thinks they should be getting paid more. And certainly this year’s results can be read to support those positions … that’s the beauty of confirmation bias in data … but then I would be dismissing some of the bright spots we discovered in this year’s survey.

More than half of you do feel fairly compensated for what you do.

14% of you don’t feel fairly compensated but don’t do it for the money anyway … go you generous kings and queens!

And while staffing is a major concern, the number who reported increased emphasis on employee mental health and satisfaction was gratifying.

But more than a few mentioned younger generations of workers lack a work ethic and I’d like to provide a different perspective. The 40-hour work week was introduced in 1926 by Henry Ford who recognized that productivity did not exponentially increase when his workers worked more than that but that limiting their hours did boost productivity and fostered loyalty and pride. Prior to this, workers regularly worked 70-100 hours per week. At this time it was also common to have domestic help doing the cooking, cleaning and childcare.


Since, many studies have uncovered the negative implications of overwork. All show that people who regularly work overtime are less healthy, more likely to make mistakes, and less productive than those who work 40 hours. In our data, 78% reported working 40 or more hours a week and those 39 and younger (20% of respondents) work on average 43 hours.

I’d posit younger generations don’t lack a work ethic, but have gained a life ethic. They work to live, not live to work. Their priority is working to provide themselves with a fulfilling life. And even then 66% still report a struggle finding balance between work and family or their health.

A parting thought, perhaps the perception that younger people lack a work ethic has less to do with their willingness to work hard than their belief that doing a job for a salary is a transaction and not a favor granted them by an employer to whom they should be grateful, especially when that employer is the one who benefits most by their labor.

Best wishes for your business,

Power Yogaing My Way to Metamorphosis

Power Yogaing My Way to Metamorphosis

Power Yogaing My Way to Metamorphosis

Five Smart Tips From This Issue

  1. If you don’t have a performance management system in place, now is the time to implement one. (Manager’s To-Do, page 16)
  2. Are you up to speed on the fast-growing multifocal market and the latest contact lens options for dry-eye patients? (Better Vision, page 23)
  3. Conventional wisdom says a cold open, private pay practice can’t be done. This OD proves conventional wisdom is stupid. (Best of the Best, page 48)
  4. The language you use could be limiting your sales. (Columns, page 53)
  5. Speaking of performance reviews, our latest Real Deal illustrates why they are important and how a few colleagues handle them in their own businesses. (Real Deal, page 58)


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