Category: Work-Life Balance

When Does a Job Becomes Exploitative?

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An employer-employee relationship should be fair, equitable, and consensual for both parties.

Jobs give us a source of income, a sense of security, a structure to our day, a means of networking and social connections, and an identity. But since all things come with a price, it is important to sometimes reflect on what we are exchanging for these career benefits. More importantly, we need to ask ourselves if the exchange is (or continues to be) fair, meaningful, and consensual. Often a relationship, particularly an employer-employee relationship, starts out as fair, meaningful, and consensual for both parties. But over time, can morph into a lopsided or even exploitative relationship. In fact, this happens very naturally and very commonly in a capitalistic society. Though it does not need to be this way as there are many businesses that practice “conscious capitalism”. (more…)

5 Ways to Protect Yourself as an Employee

Don't leave it up to your employer to protect you from exploitation.
Don’t leave it up to your employer to protect you from exploitation.

In this year’s May Day Rally, NTUC Chief Lim Swee Say said that employers “need to make better use of every worker, and treat every worker better”. He also told employees to not take the tight labour market for granted. May Day (a.k.a. International Workers’ Day) began as a movement of employees seeking better working conditions, hours, and protection from their employers. This was at a time when many employers exploited their employees, often forcing them to work very long hours (12+) in dangerous working conditions. (more…)

Is There a Cost to Working?

Operating costs in business
Considering your operating costs, how much do you really earn?

Everyone knows that there are operating cost in running a business. But rarely do people consider how much is actually spent on their own personal overhead, that is, the cost associated with working (or other money-generating activities). For many businesses, how overhead is managed and controlled is often what makes or breaks their bottom line. Many important business decision are based on minimising operating costs. Yet so few people consider what their own personal operating costs are. Or whether these costs, compared to their earnings, make their income-generating pursuits worthwhile. (more…)