Time Perspectives influence relationship at the workplace. Disputes tend to arise between a Future-Focus boss and Present Hedonistic subordinates

Time Perspectives influence relationship at the workplace. Disputes tend to arise between a Future-Focus boss and Present Hedonistic subordinates

Working nine to five, being busy day and night, meeting deadlines and countless meetings…do these describe your life?

The majority of Hong Kong people spend more than 8 hours on work, having a longer stay at workplaces than at homes and colleagues and meeting their colleagues more often than their family and friends. In offices, one has to comply with requirement from the boss and requests by co-workers and to handle complicated relationships and ever-increasing workload. As stress naturally intensifies, the body becomes vulnerable to such issues as tension and pain over neck and shoulder; the emotional state remains nervous regularly. At such instances, some may wonder if the mental strain is due to their over-sensitiveness or incapability.

External factors, including work environment and work culture, may not be under our control. Nonetheless, they are usually the most decisive ones in determining our mental health. We are going to give you tips at workplace for confronting the helpless predicament, controlling your emotions, deepening your understanding about human interaction, recognizing causes behind policies and therefore facilitating reciprocal cooperation.

Our perception of time affects our decision

Introduced by Philip Zimbardo, a leading global leading social-psychologist and Honorary Professor of Stanford University, Time Perspective is beneficial to improving your career prospect. Our conception of time, which can be divided into external and internal aspects, can reflect our attitudes, viewpoints and values about it. In other words, time perspective directly shapes the judgment and policy of everyone. Have you ever spent a long while dwelling on past failure or planning and hesitating about your future life? Are these thoughts positive or negative? Are they happy or sad? Are they hopeful or fearful? Variation in time perspectives can lead to sundry sorts of life.

Let’s look at the following six types of time perspective. Which one do you cherish?

  • Past Negative: Focus on past negative experiences; vulnerable to frustration; and worry a lot about future.
  • Past Positive: Focus on past positive experiences; bring in motivation; and confidence for the future.
  • Present Hedonistic: Decide and act according to the present mood and thoughts.
  • Present Fatalistic: Believe everything is pre-determined and what human can change is limited; prone to inertia and passiveness.
  • Future-Focus:Focus on future; give up immediate pleasure willingly for future goals.
  • Transcendental Future: Believe things are bound to happen; do not worry about the future and believe death is another beginning.


Are you inclined to live in the past, present or future?

At the workplace, Past Negative oriented people tend to focus on negative experiences, preparing the future by considering their past. For instances, if they suffered losses in their previous investment, they are likely to be conservative about their current decision or even refuse to take any risk. They have lost their motivation and confidence due to their own life stories.
A Present Hedonistic-oriented employee is a reckless and impulsive one who lives in the present; a Future Focus-oriented boss is a visionary leader who has his/her plans. Impelled to act according to feelings, the employee is prone to distractions and can barely function as a team. By contrast, the boss, who values the future, voluntarily renounces instant gratification and perseveres for his/her goals. It is not complicated to imagine the dispute and struggle when the two are working together. 
Occasionally, you will notice co-workers who have a disheartened mindset towards their duties. They generally accept the reality, believing their contribution - significant or trivial - will not induce any progress to the overall situation. This group of people normally shares the Present Fatalistic philosophy, highlighted by despondency and powerlessness about life. You can probably spot out one or two staff members like that in your office.

Roaming around different types of time perspective

Influenced by individual time perspectives, there are a multitude of work attitudes, work models, policy directions, judgment methods and career advancement. One can acknowledge the prevalence of divergent ways of approaching things between an employer and his/her staff. Furthermore, comprehending the time perspective held by others is conducive to fathoming their decision and intention, reducing disputes and resolving opposing views. Apart from being considerate, we should tend to ourselves and recognize our preferred time perspectives, psychological needs and values. This probes into the source of our stress and alleviates our emotional strain. As a matter of fact, we possess simultaneously all kinds of time perspectives to a certain extent. Therefore, by roaming around each of them - balancing them under diverse ages and circumstances - we will lead a healthy life. Time Perspective Therapy - eagerly developed by Philip Zimbardo in recent years - promotes the realization of his concepts and brings about well-being. Mastering these notions facilitates letting go of the past, living in the present and embracing tomorrow. Treasuring time and life, you could pursue a more pertinent career, a more satisfying relationship and a healthier life.