Work security is replaced by ongoing work being performed by casual or temporary placements.
Corporate responsibility is replaced by franchising or outsourcing, guaranteeing an income stream without being accountable for the wellbeing of workers.
The pursuit of increasing profit; of greater outputs being produced with diminishing costs; sees workloads increasing while tenure in uncertain.
All of this produces a culture where overwork is viewed as a sign of necessary commitment as well as being a form of inherent sorting, as those unable to sustain their effort falling by the wayside.
In an culture like the church, an expectation of security can be presented as a lack of faith or love; a structure of interrelated bodies to which workers are accountable can confuse lines of accountability for the worker while also clouding precise areas of accountability about where support is supposed to come from; a mission that is expressed in terms of growth can create a constant compulsion to try harder especially when situations are diminishing in size.
All of which means that instead of being a place that stands in contrast to the societal experience of burn-out the church can find itself simply echoing all the cultural values that result in burn-out in wider society, and also add the extra burden of implying that experiencing burnout is a result of a lack of faith or spiritual maturity instead of recognising it as the simple human outcome of the way things are being done.
From Can’t Even by Anne Helen Petersen.
The ideology of overwork has become so pernicious, so pervasive, that we attribute its conditions to our own failures, our own ignorance of the right life hack that will suddenly make everything easier. That’s why books like Grit and Unf*ck Yourself and other titles with asterisks to blunt the profanity and the frustration have become such massive bestsellers: They suggest that the fix is right there, within our grasp. Because the problem, these books suggest, isn’t the current economic system, or the companies that exploit and profit from it. It’s us.
I hope it’s clear at the point just how misguided that assertion is: No amount of hustle or sleeplessness can permanently bend a broken system to your benefit.