Quality of life: goal or setback?

“Quality of life” has been a corporate buzzword recently, next to other useless neologisms like “work-life balance” and “employee morale.” Many managers have even been convinced that “quality of life” for employees is something admirable to aim for. But with even an elementary analysis of corporate productivity principles, it becomes obvious that these managers are only deluding themselves.

It’s simple to see why. The first word in the phrase is the culprit: “quality.” Of course, prioritizing quality in the workplace is important! However, as all good managers know, product quality comes first. Next is quality of customer experience. Since quality is a limited resource, allotting any amount of “quality” to employee lives means that less quality remains to allocate to product and customer experience.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should spend your time deliberately trying to reduce the quality of employees’ lives, unless said reductions in quality directly impact the quality of your product. Anything else, like placing thumbtacks all over the floor so your employees will step on them, has proven to be a waste of valuable time and resources.