Why We Work. Barry Schwartz. Simon & Schuster.

Why We Work Book Cover Why We Work
Barry Schwartz
Simon & Schuster
September 1, 2015

Why do we work? The question seems so simple, but the answer is surprising, complex, and urgent.

We’ve long been taught that the reason we work is primarily for a paycheck. In fact, we shape much of our society to accommodate this belief. Then why are so many people dissatisfied with their work, despite healthy compensation? And why do some people find immense fulfilment and satisfaction despite working low-paying jobs?

Through this investigation of workers from all walks of life, Professor Barry Schwartz dispels this myth. From hospitals to hair salons, auto plants to boardrooms, Schwartz reveals the trends and patterns that lead to happiness in the workplace, ultimately proving that the root of what drives us to do good work can rarely be incentivized, and that the cause of bad work is often an attempt to do just that.

How did we get to this tangled place? How do we change the way we work? With great insight and wisdom, this book shows us how to take our first steps toward understanding – and empowering us all to find great work.

Barry Schwartz is a professor of psychology at Swarthmore College and the author of The Paradox of Choice and Practical Wisdom. His articles have been published in the New York Times, the New York Times Magazine, the Chronicle of Higher Education, Parade magazine, USA Today, Advertising Age, Slate, Scientific American, the New Republic, Harvard Business Review, and the Guardian, and he has appeared on dozens of TV and radio shows, including Morning Edition, Talk of the Nation, Anderson Cooper 360, PBS News Hour with Jim Lehrer, the Colbert Report, and CBS Sunday Morning.