IKEA's Freedom: If it costs less, you can work less



I've had this type of job - the kind I couldn't wait to discard. My relationship with it was tense because I wanted out but had to stay; I wanted more meaning but it was in the way.

So I acted like I do when I sulk. I stayed mad instead of proactive. I crossed my arms instead of exercising creativity. Neither of us were better for it.

The wife's embrace suggests that maybe he should be working less, but that doesn't remedy the problem at hand. When work is a means to a consumptive end, then leaving the office at 3:02 p.m. elicits celebration and teary-eyed relief. But when I give through work, and express through work, and worship through work - even hard work - then I enjoy it. It becomes bearable and I even begin to see the difference I make in the world.

I get IKEA's point about sale prices. But what employee can sustain a work view like that?

Welcome to life outside - and inside - work.

6 comments:

Ruchi March 21, 2009 at 2:32 AM  

Video is absolutely cool.

faithandwork March 21, 2009 at 12:49 PM  

I was just listening this morning to a podcast that related.

http://www.boldenterprises.com/2009/03/12/making-peace-with-work-5-replacing-resentment-with-engagement/

Sort of a disappointing ad by IKEA - reinforcing negative stereotypes of work.

M.joshua March 24, 2009 at 9:37 AM  

I like your blogs. This is a good one.

Sam Van Eman March 24, 2009 at 6:28 PM  

I hear you, Ruchi.

faithandwork, thanks for the link. I'm heading out of town this week, but I want to check out the podcast.

Josh, I love my fans.

Marcus Goodyear March 25, 2009 at 2:37 PM  

Awesome again, Sam.

There's another problem, though.

When I give through work and worship through work, I face a new temptation of letting work itself become the thing I worship. When I love my work and enjoy it, I might allow myself to find too much life at work.

Sam Van Eman March 25, 2009 at 2:59 PM  

Thanks for raising that, Marcus. In my original draft, I had a parenthetical note saying as much. Perhaps I should have kept it.

I talked with someone on the phone today who's willing to sacrifice his family's health for the sake of work. It pains me to watch.

Speaking of work, I need to hit the road. I'll be back this weekend.

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