Working long hours on a salary is one of the things I dislike the most. I know business owners and employees alike, and each side would have different things to say about this particular topic. Bosses would say things such as salaried employees would have to work extra for the same money to complete a complex important task on time; complex tasks may involve requirements that employees may not be fully skilled at despite bosses' expectations that they should be, so then employees have to work long hours to compensate for lack of skill. Employees, on the other hand, might say that bosses would withhold promotions and adequate raises if employees insist on not working overtime most of the time, even if they might be the best options for promotions and they deserve raises for the work they do within 40 hours per week. Bottom line, whatever the case may be, overworking beyond 40 hours per week on a salary is a major point of employer employee contention and a source of much debate, mistrust, questioning of motives, and missed opportunities for next level communication and growth. The solution to this, dearest readers, is no simple task, but I have one option that would remove a lot of negative energy surrounding overtime work. Kevin O'Leary from Dragon's Den and Shark Tank said in an interview that his investment firm, like any other business, has extra work that needs to get done by a deadline beyond what his employees are tasked with doing. Work has to get done though, you cannot let things slide and lose money. So, he allows his employees to essentially bid to take on the extra work and negotiate with him how much extra money they want to complete that particular work on time or earlier, and they strike a deal. This, dearest readers, seems really awesome. Give out contracts to tackle work overflow to existing employees and let them bid on it. Understand that extra work costs extra money, and your business and employees eventually level up because of that.
The second thing that will become very problematic is salary negotiation, especially for entry level to mid level jobs. Businesses will feel the pressure of carnage they just went through and, knowing full well they will need employees to work extra hard, they will still try to get new employees to accept lower salary amounts on a job's pay scale than that person realistically deserves. Employees, on the other hand, may be desperately searching for work and may therefore be willing to accept low salaries, then get depressed over how much work they will be compelled to do for it, and finally burn out and leave, only to repeat the same process at the next company that hires them. We are in serious danger of a revolving door pandemic in the job market. One effective solution for this is to ask for the money in the job's pay scale that you think you deserve for your skills and experience, and then explain why. Make a case for it. On the employer side, if you have a job position to fill, think about it carefully. If it is a digital type of job such as design or marketing, it may be better reshape it into a part time contract position with a leaner list of tasks and get someone to work remotely. There are professionals out there who pick up a few part-time contracts like these and they make excellent money. Remember, not every job fits in the traditional company structure, but it still needs to get done.
Finally, there is an optics problem that is spreading like yet another pandemic in large portions of our society- seeing hard work as exploitation. There is a fine line between the two and in a stressful situation such as this slow reopening of our economy, it will be easier than ever to get confused. All work, including sit down computer work, requires a certain preparedness level. If you feel you are working harder and harder and you are getting exploited, before you ask for some sit down time with your boss or manager to discuss this, do a quick self-diagnostic check. Are you managing your private life stress and anxiety levels well enough? Are you sleeping enough, eating healthy, working out and keeping drinks pot or whatever else in moderation? Is your commute finally getting to you? Are you working from home and losing your discipline as you take too many breaks? is your personal life and all of its relationships in order? All of these things can make your work seem so hard that you suddenly feel like you are working too much and your boss is exploiting you. Once you do this diagnostic check, if it's green lights all across the board, one should go talk to their boss or manager. If there are too many red lights, spend some time making them green again and then ask yourself if you feel the same way about your work.
All in all, I hope things go well out there. We need to work and we need money for the work that we do. Hopefully we it the right way.