February 10, 2021

Emotional labour

Recently I’ve been thinking about (and remembering) why being ‘The Boss’ is no fun. Or at least not for me.

It’s not the hard graft, or the long hours, or the uncertainty of income.  Nor is it the responsibility to clients, or the need to exceed expectations.  We knew this was part of starting a business, it’s actually what we wanted – the possibility to get more out of work than the means to live.

Being your own boss is fine.

It’s being the boss of others, directly or indirectly, that’s difficult.

Because although you can now share the physical or mental work involved in delivery, you’ve at least doubled the emotional labour, and emotional labour is harder to share out.

The first step is to recognise that it’s a big part of what gets done.  Probably the most important part too.

The next step is to make it explicit, and cover it in the manual.