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Don't work too hard." You hear that a lot around the office, and it's always said with a smile. It's heard even more when you remain at your desk while others turn off the lights. For those who say it, it's often meant as a throw-away; a cheery comment to bond in faux-misery. But for those on the receiving end, it's often taken as criticism, or worse: as mockery.
Recently, we explored how labels matter. And, relevant to this subject, we looked at linguistic labels in the context of hard work. The things we say typically convey what we believe is acceptable. But what's "acceptable" isn't necessarily relatable This is why one person may say something that, positive or benign to them, is heard as chastising the receiver.
Clearing the air and bridging the gap
Lets get one thing out of the way: working long hours isn't inherently bad. For some people, it's the key to career success. For others, it's a fast-track to the ICU.