Bleats

You Will Die At Your Desk If You're One Of These Happily Overworked Employees

Snoozing not losing.

Each and every one of us has whined at some point about doing overtime, having a non-existent work-life balance, or about the big bad boss cracking the whip. But despite our grumbling, an analysis of the Household Labour and Income Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) survey data shows that we actually kind of like it.

The researchers found that the average overworker rates their job satisfaction at 7.1/10, which is a pretty high score considering that the overall average is 7.9. At first glance it might seem like Aussies have a really bad case of collective masochism, but it comes down the payoff you get for grinding hard.

For starters, jobs that require long hours are usually either fun (in the loosest sense of the word), or will have you raking in some serious dough. Staying back at the office might highlight your work ethic and result in a pay rise later down the track – as long as you make sure your boss takes notice.

Only about one in a hundred of the dissatisfied overworkers stuck around in their crappy job for more than two years. Now that’s self-care, 99%!

Speaking of self-care though, it’s probably not worth compromising on your own health for the sake of a few extra dollars. These things always require a delicate balance, but if you’re really just climbing the corporate ladder for the gold and glory, it might be time to rethink your priorities.

Aussies are lonelier and sleepier than ever before, and the daily grind can be a big contributor. That means you might want to find some alternatives to the insane workload, stat – before your body and your social life start to suffer.

If you’re the kind of person for whom working from home is an option, take advantage of it as much as possible. Less time commuting is less time wasted, after all. And if home is too distracting, you could always set up a ‘coffice’.

To keep your work-life balance in check, you’ve also got to make the most of those hours on the train or in the car. If downtime is what you need, shove on a bangin’ playlist or an interesting podcast, but if you haven’t spoken to your BFF in so long they’ve probably forgotten who you are, then give them a call! When meeting face-to-face isn’t an option, you must adapt. Survive. Overcome.

And if you’re in a position of authority (and responsibility) at your workplace, please – for the love of your sanity – DELEGATE YOUR TASKS. Having to pick up the slack of your underlings is no-one’s idea of a good time. Teamwork, y’all. It’s important for everyone.

So next time you find yourself falling asleep at the desk, ask yourself: is your fantasy of swimming in cash like Scrooge McDuck really worth the pain?

A Cashless Society Is Closer Than You’d Think, And The Banks Are On Board

That's not very cash money of you.

We’ve been hearing for yonks about the pros and cons of the cashless society we’re supposedly hurtling towards, but now even the International Monetary Fund has seen the light. Honestly, those cash-only stores have no excuse at this point.

There is objectively no greater disappointment than getting to the till at a convenience store and seeing a big old ‘NO EFTPOS’ sign slapped across the register. You do that loose change jiggle as you search your wallet and pockets but it’s futile, and you leave hungry and dejected.

So wouldn’t it be marvelous if there was no cash at all? No reason for businesses to exclude you right at that last hurdle? There’s a decent rationale behind the shift – after all, you’re not alone in your frustration. According to research commissioned by the ATO, nearly half of us find cash-only to be “inconvenient”, and even more reckon it’s a sign of dishonesty.

Working in cash is what creates a black economy, where companies and employees can shield their transactions from prying eyes for tax-avoidance purposes. Without a paper trail, cash-in hand payments also leave employees more vulnerable to being ripped off.

Becoming a cashless society would make life look a little different, but maybe not by all that much. It’s all about the Australian consumer’s demand for convenience – in 2016, only about a third of payments were made in cash. Still, it’s not a flawless system, and there are some slightly shady reasons why banks and organisations like the IMF are pushing it so hard.

Getting rid of cash – which sets the ‘floor’ for the value of interest at zero – would allow banks to set negative interest rates. This is great if you’re planning on making a bunch of investments and taking out loans, because it would force the banks to pay you for it. Profit.

But if you’re a risk-adverse individual like me, who very much values being able to tuck away savings in an everyday account, the bank would be able to take some of your money for the privilege. It’s like a punishment for being sensible! But of course, the market is always right…

Great job, banks. You always know how to take care of people.

And I think we’re all forgetting the true victims of a cashless society – hip-hop artists and rappers. If video killed the radio star, then the cashless revolution killed the video star. Are we going to force Lil Wayne to start waving credit cards around while he spits sick bars?

It just wouldn’t be the same.

On the flip side, at least in the near future you’ll be able to get a takeaway without raiding an ATM first. It’s much easier to validate your choice to go into the red when there isn’t a giant screen there to confront you about it.

You’re Actually Spending Less On Luxuries Than Your Parents Did, So Don’t Let Them Lecture You

Take that, fam.

Friends, our time has come – the spending stats are finally on our side. You officially have evidence to use in your favour next time a baby boomer tries to prosecute you for enjoying a light brunch in the city, thanks to the Grattan Institute’s Generation Gap report.

As well as finding that “the wealth of households under 35 has barely moved since 2004”, the report also showed that under 25s are the only group spending less on non-essential goods now than they were back in the late 80s.

Generation Gap report 2019, The Grattan Institute.

Recreational activities who? We don’t know her!

Obviously the cost of living has rocketed for everyone, we already knew that and we’ve been feeling it for a while now. But Millennials are struggling with it the most, and we know now that it’s not because of the lattes, avocados, or wagyu beef.

More than half of households headed by an under-25-year-old have experienced at least one indicator of financial stress – not that the quarter of 75+ year-olds going through it is great either. Spending your paycheck on your mortgage repayment shouldn’t compromise your ability to have a hot meal. Call me a radical!

Some of the pearls of wisdom are so foreboding that it’s like hearing an omen from the Oracle of Delphi – if she was a very dry data analyst. “If low wage growth is the ‘new normal’”, the report says, “then Australia could have a generation emerge from young adulthood with lower incomes than the one before.”

And sure, it might be fear-mongering a little, but with a recession supposedly right around the corner, it’s not like there’s no cause for concern. Besides, I’m hardly a statistician – who am I to argue with the ABS?

Some of the luxuries we’re spending less on seem kind of obvious, I have to say. Less on household goods and furnishings? Duh, we’ve got Kmart. Clothes too? Nothing wrong with a bit of Target fashion here and there, and it seems like every store has a different sale on every day. Although maybe all the avocado toasts are included in the ‘food’ tally, so I guess that means we all have have guilty pleasures to account for. Yikes.

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