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Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Value of a Good Work Environment

I don't talk much here about my job, because it's really never a good idea to talk about your job online using any specific terms. Today I had an interesting conversation with my supervisor, however, and I wanted to discuss it a bit.

I am currently working through a very tedious part of the project we're on. It's fairly mindless, and it's very mind numbing. My current technique is to put on my headphones, play some music or a podcast, and just bury myself in the work. I can only do this for so many hours a day, because eventually my brain demands to be stimulated.

We just received information that might make this tedious section last even longer than originally planned. My supervisor told me that she had to admit, she felt bad that I was working on this particular project, as she knew how tedious it was, and she knew I was only at this agency for a short period (for those of you just joining us, I'm currently 'on loan' to another agency until sometime in September). I replied that I didn't really mind, because I knew that the work was important, that at the end of the day, it had to be done, and it would be used as part of the final product. Additionally, I knew that I was appreciated for what I was doing, and that made all the difference.

After I got out of that meeting with her, I realized just how true my statement was. Sure, there are moments during the day where I just want to cut and run, to skip out early and go hang out in a museum, or take sick leave for the rest of my day. But knowing how trusted and respected I am in this position and how important the work really is keeps me going. It doesn't make the work fun, but the way I am treated and viewed makes all the difference in my attitude towards the work.

I don't know that there are any jobs out there where an employee will enjoy himself or herself every single minute of the day. Every job has to have its downside, no matter how small. But a great work environment can do wonders for an employee's attitude and view on the job that he or she is required to do, and I'm realizing the truth of that more and more every day. It doesn't matter how big your paycheck is - if you aren't respected, your view of your job will be quite different. So maybe it's worth it to take a smaller paycheck for a job where you know that you are valued and are treated as such.


Nicole said...

I know what you mean, I'm currently weighing my options and the more I think of it, my current job (with a five minute commute, great coworkers but a small paycheck) is looking better...

Anonymous said...

SO true. I have been fortunate to have pretty good working environments and some excellent bosses at all my jobs since college (and some during college, actually), and it really makes a huge difference. Just hearing your supervisor express their appreciation makes a crappy job much more bearable.

Mrs. Accountability said...

Definitely. My job is pretty stressful and I wish the project I was on could be done and over with. I'm finally getting the training I've been needing - attending a two day training conference and it is really helping to rejuvenate my interest in the project. It helps when you have a strong work ethic and people recognize that and just don't take advantage. Good post.

asgreen said...

I totally agree. I really believe that being in a good work environment will make a huge difference to how much you enjoy your job.