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Exit poll at 5PM – what really motivates you at work?


Stability. Money. Team. Managers. Positive environment. Autonomy. Recognition. Perspectives. Rewards. Organizational climate. Work itself.

It’s your time to make a choice! What motivates you at the office? What keeps you determined, focused and ultimately…happy? The good part is that you can pick. The not so good part is that you can’t pick all. Because try as you might – no job/working place will offer them all on a silver platter.

Let’s define motivation!  – A theoretical construct, used to explain behavior. It is the scientific word used to represent the reasons for our actions, our desires, our needs.

The above definition sheds light upon the matter – motivation is unique for every individual and cannot be applied, using the same parameters to a group formed out of different individuals.

One of the most common mistakes done by managers that work for companies and that have a numerous team under their command is that they perceive motivation as a thing that can be applied to the whole crew they conduct. Wrong. Motivation is distinct from person to person, each and every one of us is being driven by different desires and perspectives. Each and one of us has a specific vision and all the decisions taken around us are filtered through our own personal standpoint. One employee can perfectly function in an environment with high pressure. It’s the tight deadlines that offer the much needed adrenalin and keeps him/her going and constantly overachieving. At the same time, there are employees that function perfectly when left with their own choice in terms of time and pace.

Some of us are extroverts – motivated by a vivid and energetic crowd, love to communicate and share. But there are some of us that are introverts – love a quiet environment and are much more productive and driven when left alone with their thoughts and ideas.

You may say that money is a motivational factor for all. True. But money represents a short-term motivation. If the working space is not proper, if colleagues are not helpful and kind, if managers do not have people skills and do not communicate, if the actual work that we do is not what we actually desired, than money itself stops being a motivation in the end. It will eventually be seen as a concession: “ I only stay  in the company for the financial benefits. The rest is history”. In this case, money becomes a burden. Heavier and heavier by the day, a constant reminder that the hours spent in a particular working space are nothing more than a giant compromise.

The best case scenario I could imagine is when work itself primarily motivates you. If you are lucky enough to love what you do and get paid for it as well, than all the other factors mentioned above will fall under obscurity. You will find your refuge in work, the results will keep you going, what you build and share will give you strength. Colleagues, working environment, managers and money will became satellites for your primarily goal: to excel at what you actually work and are proficient in.

Exit poll at 5PM – what really motivates you to keep going?


A person generally spends around 99.117 hours at work in a lifetime (That’s the equivalent of 11 and a half years of solid labor) and 90% of their time indoors. An office worker spends almost 5 years of his/hers life sitting at a desk and an average of 4 years are being spend on the phone at work. Sometimes we spend more time in the office than with our own families and friends.

In the shadow of the above mentioned factors, I think we owe it to ourselves to think about motivation more. After a long working day, have a small chat with your inner self – what are the things that give you the power to keep going? You may  not be able to choose all of the things I’ve mentioned at the beginning of the article – as no working place is perfect. But can you choose at least 3? Because if after your introspection you cannot find these 3 motivational factors and at the same time you are constantly watching the clock every day hoping to hit 5 PM – maybe it’s high time you make a change. Don’t just be. Live. You have that right. Even at work.



Author : Daria Ionescu


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