The mathematics of work

MathsIt is hard not to be impressed by how readily so much in life can be broken down into simple mathematical formulas. Take for instance the matter of work.

If work takes place in a negative environment (-) and I have a negative experience in attending said negative work place (-), the result is an overly negative one.

This can be shown by (-) + (-) = (-)

If work takes place in a negative environment (-) and I manage to have a positive experience in attending said negative work place (+), the result is neutral.

This can be shown by (-) + (+) = (0)

The same neutral result will be achieved if work takes place in a positive environment (+) and yet I have a negative experience in attending said positive work place (-), the result will once again be neutral.

This can be shown by (-) + (+) = (0)

The dream of course is to work within a positive work place (+) and a positive work experience (+), which would result in an overly positive situation.

This can be shown by (+) + (+) = (+)

…Now all that is left is to find out how to achieve the right solution…


  1. MC

    Of course, the equations get more complicated as you add more variables or notice that one aspect outweighs another.

  2. John

    This kinda reminds me of a formula I learned on my journalism course. A guy lecturing us on the way local councils worked defined a QUORUM (ie. the minimum number of people required for a committee meeting to be valid) as

    2(AB) + 1 (where AB stands for awkward b*ggers)

    In other words, figure out how many awkward, troublemaking people are at the meeting, then make sure you have at least twice as many people plus one at the meeting –

    so the troublemakers can always be outvoted

  3. jan

    It makes me wonder why there are so many people who seem bent on making work a negative place.

  4. clarissa

    what I do, who I’m doing it with, and where I’m doing it are my variables (x, y and z)

  5. Navilyn

    If only I could now work in a positive (+) place, that would be great! We have no bloody windows because our department is below the ground. It’s so depressing…

  6. Tracey

    Hi MC – Oh absolutely! I guess I was just doing some thinking at a high level and was kind of amazed at how readily I can break things related to my work environment down to a simple series of equations.

    Hi John – LOL!! That’s an excellent formula and one I’m sure many Councils could successfully apply. I know that while we don’t put things in such an eloquent or readily digestible fashion at my work, whenever we go to a meeting with external clients we make sure we always have at least an equal if not slightly greater number of representatives…just for appearances sake.

    Hi Jan – I have often reflected on this myself. I have come to the conclusion that I will never understand the ‘office environment’.

    Hi Clarissa – A nice set of variables you’ve gathered there. For me I would have to say that your x and y variables are strongly negative for me at the moment. I think this is probably a sure sign that it’s time to move on.

    Hi Navilyn – Yes that elusive positive workplace is definitely a priority to find, especially in your case it seems. Having no windows is just not natural for humans at any stretch of the imagination!! I think we always need to at least see the outside world even if we can’t be out in it.

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