Career Miscellaneous RSI

RSI and Job Performance

Performance v Endurance

If you are anything like I was, you are a good conscientious performer in your job. You may have been working extra hours to make sure you did a good job, you may also have worked evenings, weekends and even holidays. This is more often than not done to meet or exceed your goals, improve your chances of promotion and attain the related pay increases. It’s quite often the people who work hardest who are the most stressed in life, because they care about the quality of their work. They may often be the ones carrying the biggest workload, mainly because they are performing the best. This high pressure work may all be being conducted on a computer and therefore exposing the worker to some of the greatest risk factors for an onset of an RSI.

It would be interesting to do a poll of RSI sufferers in the industry and see how many correlated to previously ‘good’ performing employees, although reliable data may be very hard to obtain.

It’s an old cliche, but in your job you have to try to strike a good balance between work and your life outside work. Let’s face it, which would your employer prefer: an employee who does 2 years’ worth of work in 1 year and then hits a health problem with an RSI, or a worker who does 1 years (or less) worth of work in a year and works for them for 10-20 years with no health issues? The question is – is it worth striving to be a top performer when you work extensively on a computer? Are the rewards really worth putting your health at risk for?

I partially blame the environment where employers reward individuals who “exceed expectations”, as this usually translates to those who work the longest hours, who have the greatest output and who are under the most stress. In other words, it encourages people to take health risks to achieve the best rewards.

I’ve seen plenty of former co-workers who are still happily employed, but have managed balanced their workload sensibly. They are attaining a decent salary, and as far as I know have never acquired a computer related injury. Who do you think has the best philosophy when it comes to choosing how to work?

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