CitationDownload as .RIS
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Article Type: Literature and insights From: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Volume 29, Issue 2.
Work, work, work
It is a familiar and cliché complaint that there are simply not enough hours in the day. And for every hour extra that we wish we had, there are a thousand lifestyle gurus who would be happy to coach us towards both the calmer waters of serene attitudes to paid labour and to carving up our work day differently. It is down to mind-set and efficiency. In other words, if they cannot find additional hours for us, they will tell us how to use the existing ones in a better way.
Just days ago I listened to a speech by a Vice Chancellor in which he said significant budget savings had to be made. For example, he did not see why he had to sign so many forms. Why could not the authority be delegated to lower levels, thus saving everybody time? Apply that across the university, he said, and we would all be more efficient. Everyone, he claimed, knew where the wasteful practices were and was duty bound to point them out in order to change procedures. They could all just operate more cleverly.
Of course, this neglects the fact that at the lower levels most of the activity is not reliant on his signature. The biggest proportionate savings of time in cutting steps of approval would be his, at the very highest rank. He would be the one relieved of overseeing decisions. He went on to claim that it was possible to change the way work in order to achieve the things that had always been needed.
As one of the critics of his suggestion said, “Work smarter, not harder is not a strategy”. Workloads would still exist.
Some years ago, there was a cartoon by David Sipress in an issue of The New Yorker with a politician speaking at podium that was captioned, “Today I’m announcing I’ve decided to get out of my family so I can devote more time to politics”. How many of us, in the name of pride or perhaps keen for recognition (aka promotion?) spend too much time in activities that draw us away from meaningful engagement with friends, family and other things important to our well-being?
There is nothing magical or new about the message in this Literature & Insights. It is simply saying that we should all remember that our employers do not own us, and that we have lives outside work. That does not negate the value of a sound contribution to earn a living, but it signals a need to avoid neglecting one’s own mental health and the relationships we have with people outside work.
In this issue, with a poem “The voices of accountability”, Shi-Min How and Mamanur Rasheed address the issue of seeing work as a means of establishing status and wealth versus engaging with it as a way of paying attention to the needs of others and improving their lot.
Your own creative contributions can be submitted via ScholarOne (see below), and your e-mail correspondence is always welcome, of course, at: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
Steve Evans - Literary Editor
Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal (AAAJ) welcomes submissions of both research papers and creative writing. Creative writing in the form of poetry and short prose pieces is edited for the Literature and Insights Section only and does not undergo the refereeing procedures required for all research papers published in the main body of AAAJ. Author guidelines for contributions to this section of the journal can be found at: www.emeraldinsight.com/products/journals/author_guidelines.htm?id=aaaj