In what we now describe as ‘The Modern Age’, how are we using the benefits of technology to develop our lives?
Most people will spend at least one third of their life working. If they were to sit down and say how they would like to work, the answers would be as wide and varied as life itself.
Is our work place that varied?
With home ownership growing in the EU, we invest considerable time in making our homes a place of comfort, a place where we like to be.
Work environments, on the other hand, do not have anywhere near the same amount of enjoyment. Many companies now recognise that the place its employees spend one third of their lives has to represent the people that work there. Google encourage their employees to work from sofas that they provide, or hotspots around the company. They have a number of different distractions to keep the interest of the employees while they are at work. Employees are encouraged to work 20 percent of their own time on their own projects.
We do not go to work just to work, we go there to improve our lives. This is not just on a monetary level, but in all areas that we function, from socialising, to developing new skills. How do we, as a company, do that?
By taking a leaf from “Googleplex” the Google headquarters in Mountain View, California, that boasts free lunches, on-site dental care and dog-friendliness we can begin to provide more for our employees.
The key to doing pretty much anything in life is to have a degree of happiness. Happy employees will do anything so long as they can stay happy. The reverse of this does not bear thinking about. This ultimately changes the relationship that employees have with their employer. If we only look at the legal requirements for health and safety, the employer has to be the perfect parent. As a parent all I can say is good luck. I can give my son a slap when he is not doing his home work with out getting a legal case.(!!) So how do companies harness the potential of their employees? It requires a good relationship and good management, where both parties are working towards the same goal.
I work a fair amount from home and it means that I can plan my day and have more control over my life. Being a single parent means that I usually take a few hours off in the afternoon when my son comes home. My best work is often done in the dark winter evenings. I will often go for a morning stroll when the sun is shining and enjoy a mug of coffee the way I like it. Since I have been working from home I have never been happier or more relaxed. I am more productive and enjoy my life a lot more.
So what is the benefit for the employer?
Well, in the first place there is the cost saving, from the price of my desk, through to the costs incurred travelling to work. In the second place, the quality of work is higher due to less stress. In third place, I am willing to bet that employees will take a lot less time off work, be it through sickness or other reasons.
The technology that is available to us now means that you can communicate with anybody for very little cost. If you fancy a change or needed to,you could always go work with another colleague, be it in the workplace at work or their home.