Wednesday, December 22, 2010

quality of work

You Don't Have to be Rich is a meta-analysis of which financial habits and circumstances correlate with happiness. The book has some correlation vs. causation issues, but over all contains lots of interesting information. Here, for example, is a list of the factors that predict job satisfaction:

1) Job security

2) Relative income--people like to make at least as much as their co-workers.

3) Interaction with other people, especially a "tight knit sense of community." Smaller workplaces are better.

4) A challenge that requires use of skills--not busywork

5) Clear and well-defined goals, including feedback along the way.

6) Autonomy; the ability to make one's own decisions without being challenged, especially with regards to when and how objectives are to be met. If deadlines are externally imposed, coming from a customer > colleague > boss.

7) Small freedoms, such as the ability to telecommute at times, rearrange and/or decorate workspace, and having a short commute.

8) Variety in what tasks and skills are called for, as well as the location where the work is done.

9) Use of skills which are valued, and which one has invested in

10) Level of social status one's community affords to the work.

Chatzky suggests that if your job fulfills all of these things and you still don't like it, the problem is likely that you are time-poor. . . which goes back to the work/play/rest thing. She doesn't even consider that ethical concerns/contribution to a wider economic community are related to one's working life; she explicitly states these things are beyond one's control, and I'd bet they have a substantial impact on work satisfaction for some workers.

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