Agile & Digital / Matrix Management / People and purpose / Virtual Teams

How dare you be disengaged?

According to the Gallup state of the global workplace 2022 report only 20% of people are positively engaged at work, 60% are emotionally detached and 20% are miserable. We’re all probably familiar with these dreadful numbers and we tend to blame poor leadership. However, I’m going to take a different tack today and blame the individuals involved – how dare you be disengaged!

Most of us spend about 40% of our waking hours for over 40 years at work, over 80,000 hours. Because it represents such a large slice of our life, unless we have a positive experience of work, we have almost no chance of living a happy and fulfilling life.

It’s great if our leaders create an environment where we can do that effortlessly, but that doesn’t seem to be the norm.

If our work is making us miserable, we should move.

But what about those people in the middle? The 60% of people who apparently are “emotionally disconnected” at work, is that how you want to spend a big chunk of your life?

The quality of your life is how you spend your hours. Can you afford to be disengaged?

Psychologist Mihály Csíkszentmihályi popularised the term “flow”, often referred to as “being in the zone”, where people are challenged to exercise their skills, time passes quickly and we report high levels of energy and satisfaction.

People actually report being in a flow state more often at work than they do during leisure. Achieving flow is about having stretching goals and about building your skills to meet and achieve them.

I saw a wonderful video recently of someone cleaning the windows of a coffee shop to music. They had turned it into an art form and at the end of it they received a round of applause from the people in the shop. He had taken what probably isn’t the most interesting job in the world and turned it into an artistic performance, he genuinely looked as though he was enjoying himself. If you saw it too and have a link please let me know.

Instead of waiting for our leaders to create an environment where we are engaged, shouldn’t we take individual responsibility for our own engagement, seek out more challenging goals and work on developing our skills. The more energy and passion we invest in our jobs, the more we get back in return – maybe not always financially but in terms of enjoyment and meaning.

If you work to be the very best at your job and you don’t feel you get the recognition you deserve, then at least you’ve got a great story to tell at your next interview.

You can’t control your company or even your boss, but you can control your attitude and how you approach your work. Why not step up and create the engagement you deserve in your life.

Or you could go back to being emotionally detached for 40% of your life – it is your life, so you get to choose, but don’t blame someone else if you make that choice.

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