Everyone wants to work in a place where they at least feel comfortable with their own skin. A workplace where they can fit in and simply do the job that they have been assigned to. But most of us while being in this kind of situation would call it far from being perfect. After living through this strange period of the lockdown which although, was filled with madness, but gave us a chance to take a step back and focus on ourselves a bit more. All of it made us start thinking what could be the perfect work environment?
As we have mentioned before, for some people it might be just s simple office where they do their job and then can leave. Almost no strings attached, just like an oddly repetitive one-night-stand which never grows into a more complex relationship. But our goal today is to think what could be “the organization of your dreams.” A funky relationship where you feel loved and appreciated but without any silly rules. Is it even possible?
In this blog, we are going to be vaguer than usual but we believe that during this period of our lives, we should take a step forward and think about what could make us and others happy.
Make yourself comfortable and let’s dive in.
Focus and reflect on your needs
We think that the best description for the perfect work environment that we have managed to find is by the Business Insider. “In a nutshell, the perfect work environment should be a place where individual differences are nurtured; information is not suppressed or spun; the company adds value to employees, rather than merely extracting it from them; the organization stands for something meaningful; the work itself is intrinsically rewarding, and there are no stupid rules.”
But we think that the whole virus situation has added another twist to it. We love that this period was not only filled with fear and madness but also it has drawn people more to self-reflection. In one of our previous blogs, we have mentioned that most of us are terrified to face ourselves and actually realise who we are and what we want.
During the quarantine, most of us had a chance to reflect on our needs, spend time with ourselves and the lucky ones with our loved ones. Yes, some of us were going mental at home but this experience helped us to appreciate what we usually would have access to. We believe, that no matter how maddening this experience was or still is to some individuals, most of us started appreciating ourselves. We were thinking of ways how to educate, entertain ourselves, learned how to relax and actually care for ourselves. That being said, we believe that most of the people will not want to return to the same reality that they used to live in. Instead, aim for something not necessarily bigger but try to be in a place where they would feel potential.
Why having a perfect work environment is important?
When looking from a more philosophical standpoint the “perfect work environment” and trying to make super comfy positions for everyone can lead to familiarity or laziness.
As Roger Kimball said: “Familiarity is soul fat: it insulates and cushions, dockets the uncanny, translates every tomorrow into a rerun of yesterday. Do not scorn such anodynes. Be grateful for them. They help us to negotiate a world that, when not actively hostile, is often the next worst thing: unexpected.” Humankind, T.S. Eliot observed, cannot bear reality. Familiarity populates the unknown with hints of habitation. It reassures us wit bulletins of déjà vu.
These days, or at least as long as we remember, familiarity, when it surrounds the working environment, it was always something quite crappy. Especially in big corporations. People feel way too familiar with the life of a strange shadow working behind a small desk. They know that their actions wouldn’t really make any difference. They even feel uncomfortable once they get noticed.
Your job should improve the quality of your life. As every other thing that has hidden aesthetic values included in our everyday reality. Tables, coffee percolators, cars, buildings and other similar things play a central role in our lives and well-being, as do different spaces and popular cultural phenomena. A job shouldn’t bring that value only through your paycheque. No. You should feel like you know why you are there, appreciate your own position and feel valued by others.
Feeling appreciated translates into engagement
Why is it important to focus on your staff’s well-being? Stupid question, right? But it is important. Before this, we were looking from a more philosophical perspective but now, let’s look at numbers. Research from the Hay Group observes that highly engaged workers are, on average, 50% more likely to outperform expectations than the least-engaged workers. And companies with highly engaged people outperform firms with the most disengaged peoples—by 54% in employee withholding, by 89% in customer happiness, and by fourfold in revenue growth. Research by Dan Cable shows that employees who feel welcome to express their true selves at work show higher levels of organisational responsibility, individual performance, and wish to help others.
Establishing trust is important
What do we mean by establishing trust? We, as a human being have a tendency to, deep down, do not trust each other. Let’s talk in palpable examples.
During this period (yes, once again mentioning the big old virus) we have learned what is actually remote work. Before this madness working remotely would translate into “working from home”. The brackets would translate into having a day off from your actual job.
It seems like a simple thing but, as some of us have learned, it requires a lot of self-discipline. You need to manage your time, don’t over procrastinate etc.When working from home was happening every now and then, people were trying to benefit from it but now, once it became the current reality, people learned how to focus and be productive. Even some of the companies saw that they can trust their employees and the benefits that come from remote work. This is a small step in the huge transformation of the whole working process that we have been used to.
Daily tasks should make sense
People want to derive meaning from the daily activities.
This aspiration cannot be fulfilled in any understandable way through job enrichment benefits. It requires nothing less than a deliberate reconsideration of the tasks each person is doing. Do those duties make any sense? What is the purpose of them? Are they as engaging as they can be? This is a huge, complex undertaking.
People need to see the point of the tasks they are performing. Yes, it is quite common to do tasks no questions asked but you unwillingly start questioning it. Then the dissatisfaction comes and people want to engage less, do their taste with the least amount of effort possible and leave. One of the saddest feelings in your workplace you can get is when you can’t wait to leave and already start dreading the morning because you will have to come back. No one really wants to go to the office just to be brushing against the chair the whole day. Employees need to have not only clear tasks but also clear reasoning behind it.
Create your own perfect work environment
That being said, we wish everyone to find their own happy corner or find the strength to create your own work environment. This has been a period of true madness and self-reflection but we can use it as an opportunity to create something great and palpable. Create new jobs where people could feel appreciated and see the point in what and why they are doing. Feeling like starting something? Hit us up and we are going to help you make it happen.