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Workplace Enjoyment

A lesson from Pink Floyd

I saw a statistic today from Gallup that only 8% of people experience overall wellbeing, because of their work – that’s pretty sad.

The line “hanging on in quiet desperation” came to mind and I looked up the lyrics from that seminal album, Dark Side of the Moon. They are both poignant and prescient:


Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day
You fritter and waste the hours in an offhand way
Kicking around on a piece of ground in your home town
Waiting for someone or something to show you the way.

Tired of lying in the sunshine staying home to watch the rain
You are young and life is long and there is time to kill today
And then one day you find ten years have got behind you
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun.

So you run and you run to catch up with the sun but it’s sinking
Racing around to come up behind you again
The sun is the same in a relative way but you’re older
Shorter of breath and one day closer to death.

Every year is getting shorter never seem to find the time
Plans that either come to naught or half a page of scribbled lines
Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way
The time is gone, the song is over
Thought I’d something more to say.

Of course leaders cannot make everyone’s lives fulfilling and happy, just like parents cannot ‘make’ their children happy. Adults have a responsibility to make choices in their lives that take them in the direction they want to go. We can’t blame our genetics, upbringing or environment for our woes.

And yet like parents, leaders and authority figures can do much to create an environment where people thrive and experience wellbeing at work.

Unless we pay attention to this (I acknowledge it’s easier said than done), businesses will not thrive. And then the song really will be over.

Richard Wentworth Ping
June 24th 2015