Working Conversations Episode 94:

Live to Work or Work to Live: Conflicting Values in the Workplace

Which one best describes you?

“I see work as a primary source of fulfillment and purpose, and I am willing to make significant sacrifices in order to advance in my career.”


“I work in order to earn enough money to afford my lifestyle. I’d rather spend my time on my own interests or with my family and my friends.”

These are two sets of competing values that have been around for a long time. It’s the classic clash between “Live to Work” or “Work to Live”.

These competing sets of values have become stronger and more deep-seated over the past few years.  They can get in the way of relationships at work, they can impact career advancement, and they can generally tank an organization’s productivity because of all the office politics and righteousness that accompanies these deeply held values.

As I continue to explore the future of work in 2023, I predict that this values clash in the workplace is going to be a big issue this year. If not dealt with effectively, it will cost organizations a great deal in turnover, productivity, and lack of innovation and will ultimately result in decreased customer satisfaction and decreased profits.  So, it’s worth paying attention to.

In this episode, I explore some of the generational dynamics that are related to these deep-seated values, which helps to explain where they may have come from. And I deeply believe that it does not wholly fall across generational lines.

Listen and catch the full episode here or wherever you listen to podcasts. You can also watch it and replay it on my YouTube channel, JanelAndersonPhD.

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