From the Publisher

An eye-opening, groundbreaking tour of the purpose of work in our lives, showing how work operates in our culture and how you can find your own path to happiness in the workplace.

Why do we work? The question seems so simple. But Professor Barry Schwartz proves that the answer is surprising, complex, and urgent.

We’ve long been taught that the reason we work is primarily for a paycheck. In fact, we’ve shaped much of the infrastructure of our society to accommodate this belief. Then why are so many people dissatisfied with their work, despite healthy compensation? And why do so many people find immense fulfillment and satisfaction through “menial” jobs? Schwartz explores why so many believe that the goal for working should be to earn money, how we arrived to believe that paying workers more leads to better work, and why this has made our society confused, unhappy, and has established a dangerously misguided system.

Through fascinating studies and compelling anecdotes, this book dispels this myth. Schwartz takes us through hospitals and hair salons, auto plants and boardrooms, showing workers in all walks of life, showcasing the trends and patterns that lead to happiness in the workplace. Ultimately, Schwartz proves that the root of what drives us to do good work can rarely be incentivized, and that the cause of bad work is often an attempt to do just that.

How did we get to this tangled place? How do we change the way we work? With great insight and wisdom, Schwartz shows us how to take our first steps toward understanding, and empowering us all to find great work.
Published: Simon & Schuster/ TED on
ISBN: 9781476784878
List price: $7.99
Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
Availability for Why We Work
With a 30 day free trial you can read online for free
  1. This book can be read on up to 6 mobile devices.

Related Articles

Entrepreneur
2 min read

How This Company Combines Qualities From Craigslist and Airbnb to Solve Staffing Issues

As it was opening multiple locations, the Plant Café, a thriving Bay Area restaurant chain, was struggling to find workers to slide into many of its new hourly positions. “The job market is incredibly competitive here,” says Doug Hunter, the cafe’s director of training and technology. “We were trying everything to find the right people -- postings on Indeed.com and Craigslist -- but the places we were using weren’t producing, which made it very difficult to sustain our growth. It was impacting the quality of service and the staff’s stress level.” Last summer, Hunter found the elusive talent po
Nautilus
3 min read
Happiness

Money Doesn’t Buy Happiness, But Time Just Might Do It

While on vacation in distant locales, people often find that time moves quite differently than in the places they’re used to. In the tropics, we settle into the grooves of “island time” and relax thanks to a more leisurely rhythm. A trip to a big city can leave us exhilarated but also drained by the energetic whir of life there. The different paces of different communities also seem to be connected to other cultural characteristics. Robert Levine and his colleagues have studied the speed of life in cities around the world and across the U.S. In a series of experiments they measured how fast so
Inc.
1 min read
Happiness

Optimizing Happiness

1 LET YOUR EMPLOYEES DEFINE WHAT HAPPINESS MEANS “Think of engagement as less about asking how happy your employees are and more about measuring if your employees are having the experience both of you want them to have. Until you know what’s most important to your culture—say, a sense of open dialogue or supreme creativity—it’s hard to ask specific questions around it, to see if the company is measuring up to that goal and how it can be stronger.” —DIDIER ELZINGA, co-founder and CEO of Culture Amp 2 SET UP A RESPONSE PLAN BEFORE YOU GET THE DATA “Some companies are hungry to collect data, b