Turns Out That Work Isn’t All It’s Cracked Up to Be… takes

Oscar Wilde famously condemned work as “the curse of the drinking class,” and the prestige of work has had its ups and downs since then. In recent years, enthusiasts for the New Economy insisted that high-end employment had become a means topersonal fulfillment and not simply a way to earn food and shelter. We’ll see whether that sentiment survives a downturn in the economy. But did people feel such zeal when the boom was going full blast? A survey by Fast Company suggests otherwise. Conducted online among college-educated workers in households making $75,000-plus per year, it asked them to characterize the past five years at work. The 33 percent who said they’d been “hugely challenged with meaningful work” were outnumbered by the sum of those “working steadily, but not particularly challenged” (31 percent) and those “cheerfully engaged” (24 percent). Another 9 percent had been “overwhelmed, but mostly by mundane tasks,” while just 3 percent were “bored out of my mind.” Asked whether they’d like a work regimen that involves going into the office only “once in a while,” 53 percent said, “I want this, now” and another 23 percent would be ready for it in five years. Just 8 percent of respondents declared, “Not on your life.” T. McCarthy/The Stock Market