Time is a key component in work, as it is in all aspects of human activity. The way time is experienced is fundamental to an individual’s overall experience of work. Having too much time to complete a task can slip easily into feelings of boredom. The sense of having too little time can be a major contributor to work-related stress. Even where tasks can be finished comfortably within a given time, dissatisfaction can still arise if the tempo of work remains unchanging. Indeed, introducing variety into the pace of work is an important means of reducing the monotony inherent in many jobs. Where such variation in the tempo of work does not occur naturally, many employees will seek to create it, at times by speeding up their work pace and at other times by working more slowly. This breaking up of the working period into distinctive segments, each with their own temporal characteristics, is one strategy that many work people employ to ‘get through’ a monotonous working day (see Chapter 8).
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