Mar 04, 2017 08:38 PM EST

‘Busyness’ Is The New Status Symbol


A workaholic lifestyle seems to be picking up pretty well this year. Recent joint studies from various researchers learned that “busyness” is the new status symbol now. The evidence of someone’s wealth is no longer the absence of physical labor.

In today’s modern world, when you ask someone, “How are you?” the answer you usually get is, “Busy.” With that answer, many people will think that you are indeed important because you are most likely to be in demand.

Silvia Belleza, a marketing professor at the Columbia Business School along with Neeru Paharia of Georgetown University and Anat Keinan of Harvard Business School, conducted a study entitled, “Conspicuous Consumption of Time: When Busyness and Lack of Leisure Time Become a Status Symbol.”

Researchers argued that busy and overworked lifestyle, rather than leisurely lifestyle has become the new status symbol. “A series of studies shows that the positive inferences of status in response to busyness and lack of leisure time are driven by the perceptions that a busy person possesses desired human capital characteristics (e.g., competence and ambition) and is scarce and in demand in the job market,” as explained by the authors.

According to the Harvard Business Review, the researchers were intrigued by the said thought. That is why they conducted a series of studies to know more about it. They asked respondents to rate the social status of a person described as working long hours at work, compared to someone who has a leisurely kind of lifestyle. And they have noticed that the participants rated the person who is a workaholic as having more social status.

Based on the experiments they did, they found out that a busy person is perceived as high status and interesting. It is most likely to be influenced by people’s belief regarding social mobility. If you base success on hard work, then you will think highly of those people who skip leisure and just work all the time.

However, Belleza’s team did a comparative study on how Americans and Italians perceived busyness. They got an interesting result. Italian respondents were more of aligned with Thorstein Veblen’s theory, wherein leisure lifestyle is a mark of higher status and good life. As for American respondents, they live in a more socially mobile society. Culture differences played an integral part.

If you keep telling other people how busy you are, then you will continue to believe in that. However, Business Insider said that one time management expert suggests that we have more time than we think. It is just really a matter of how you handle things and manage time.

Meanwhile, Jobs & Hire shared that staying fit and healthy is very important. In spite of your busy schedule, you have to set some realistic fitness goals.

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