Recession forces workers to reassess values

Fri Oct 22, 2010 9:37am EDT
 
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By Patricia Reaney

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - Job losses, home foreclosures and financial worries have forced Americans to reassess their values, including the importance of family and the emphasis they put on work.

Many want a more balanced life with less stress and more time with loved ones.

"I broke my back for this company, missed my kids growing up, and for what? Nothing!" said a 48-old unemployed man.

The disgruntled former manager was one of 1,100 workers questioned in a Florida State University study about the impact of the recession on their lives and priorities.

Nearly half said the worst financial downturn since the 1930s had increased their appreciation of family, and a similar number admitted it had helped them recognize the importance of people over things.

"The most telling part of this, and the one that offered the greatest level of variability in responses, what they felt most strongly about, was the issue of family," said Wayne Hochwarter, a professor of business studies at the university who conducted the study.

"That is an important component of life that is so easy to neglect because you have to make a living. And in a lot of families both mom and dad have to make a living."

Hochwarter described the financial downturn as a "wakeup call" for many people who thought they were doing what was best for their family, but who now question the choices they made.   Continued...

 
<p>Zachary Frantzen (L) prays with his family before dinner in Longmont, Colorado July 19, 2010. REUTERS/Rick Wilking</p>