Labour is a branch of togetherness. Recognition, consideration, accomplishment through gestures are more important than the reasons we believe drive us to work. As we always end up taking on the appearance of our backgrounds, we must take care of our office hours environment.
If you ask people how they know they spent a productive day they'll answer by saying, for example : “I received praise from my boss”, or “I felt like I fulfilled my duties, I moved forward ”, or “ There are fewer unread emails in my inbox”. We could imagine that behind these answers lies a job description with objectives like “Reading all emails sent to inbox”… Yet, our motivation for work isn't to continuously check the boxes of a never-ending list.
❝ Our motivation for work isn't to continuously check the boxes of a never-ending list. What brings us joy is building relationships of mutual recognition with our environnement.❞ Tweet
Alongside this “sisyphean condition" we can find “ a condition of meaning”, a real activity : labour is a branch of togetherness and what brings us joy at work is building relationships of mutual recognition with our environnement. Feelings of recognition, consideration, and admiration are part of that dynamic. However, when asked, we're incapable of remembering it (Dan Ariely, 2011). We managed to make ourselves believe that we work for functional reasons.
When you ask people where they go when they want to be productive, they'll answer “ at home in a small room”, or “on the patio” ; or “early in the morning”, or “late at night” ; or “in the train”, “in a train station”, “in a plane”… But none will ever say “at the office”. (Jason Fried, 2010). However, when a company is founded, we automatically think of the building, the offices, the computing equipment, and recent disguises such as ping pong tables, bean bag chairs, snack bowls. Labour, in our cultures, isn't only a manmade activity, it is also the space in which it exists.
Hail, the rule of polymaths
❝ This era has transformed work, it went from a place we must attend to a moment in life that should be enjoyed. The workplace belongs to others, but my life is mine.❞ Tweet
Double cultural inertia : work is seen, not only as a destination, but also as a stay : “what do you want to be when you grow up” ? And : “Where do you work”. The company gets mistaken with its offices. To counter these ideas, a philosophy of professional nomadism was built. A destinational and geographic nomadism : we simultaneously engage in different professions, or in a zig-zag pattern. All from one place or another on this planet. Slashing, co-living, remotely, violent reorientation, mooks and self-taught, rule of polymaths. The body's presence is not necessary to the expression of skills (Arthur C. Clarke, 1964).
❝ We always end up taking on our environment's traits. That's why work conditions matter as much as a the work we do.❞ Tweet
This era has transformed work, it went from a place we must attend to a moment in life that should be enjoyed. The workplace belongs to others, but my life is mine. Pleasure, senses, raison d’être, feelings of self-accomplishment and the usefulness of human strength in a demanding environment are as many signs of new attempts to “inhabit” work. No longer crossing it, like you cross a valley of tears, but settling, nestling, decorating. Creating a home with your own hands.
We always end up taking on our environment's traits. That's why work conditions matter as much as a the work we do.