I hear people complaining about many things in life but usually how bored they are with their work. A simple advice: either you change it or you change your attitude towards it. If you are not willing to take the first step, nothing will ever change. Only you can make the difference. If you change your attitude, you will see the gradual change in others' attitudes too. Like Mahatma Gandhi would say: ”Be the change you want to see in the world.”
People also complain that they don't have enough time for the things they really value: family and friends, hobbies, travelling.. That made me think of one solution: What if, instead of working like slaves, we would actually work less when counted in hours but more effectively. That is, when people are satisfied with their lives and have time to relax and enjoy, they could put a lot more effort into their job than they are currently putting.
Let's take an example of a phenomenon that is called optimization. When companies are trying to maximise their profit, they will keep producing a good or a service until the point where marginal cost equals marginal benefit. When the marginal cost gets too high, the company would make loss if it produced more – simple economics. This same example can be applied in our every day life: when will the cost of doing something be high enough that it is not worth continuing? We might work on a project for a long time just to realise that after one point we have only wasted the resources used (employees' time, money etc.) compared to the value added.
In case of an individual it is not that simple to measure their satisfaction because everyone values different things. There are some indicators, however, such as absenteeism and the cost for both the company and the society or effectivity, that is getting things done more quickly or being more creative and presenting fresh ideas which can give some insight whether employees are satiesfied or not. When employees, and why not managers as well, feel better all are better off. So instead of quantity we should concentrate on quality.
Not only do employees need relaxation during their spare time but also it is essential to create a great place to work. If the tasks are interesting and challenging, the atmosphere at the workplace is enthusiastic and encouraging and you actually enjoy working then the results will be phenomenal. When the circumstances are excellent you can be the best you can be. And even more.