I meet a lot of people that are done. Just over their job. They are tired of a lot of things. The people they work with, their morning commute and even the type of work they are doing. There are many reasons why this could happen, interests change, priorities change or they are just ready to move on to the next thing. I’ve seen this percolating for awhile. My opinion is that the world around them is changing. People are living longer, kids are staying at home longer, technology has improved and simply jobs are changing. People are craving flexibility. They see people working in coffee houses, on TV and requesting four day work weeks. Whether we like it or not, the way we work and the way we want to work, is changing.
Speaking with a friend a few weeks ago, he had a restaurant general manager that asked to work two out of the five days he works every week, from home. Hmmm, how do you work at a restaurant from home? He speculated that the amount of paperwork that he had to do every week, was about two days worth, so he felt why do it at the restaurant with all of the interuptions, might as well do it at home. It kinda makes sense, but this just tells you that no industry is safe from this type of mindset.
It’s not that people want to work less, people want to work smarter. They are identifying holes in the efficiency of the business and starting to question, why are we doing it that way? If a businesses sole existence is to have people drive in to an office, so they can “watch them work,” get ready for push back. The measurement of success also has to change. Businesses themselves have to ask, what defines success for itself and the people it works with. Is it the person that gets to the office early, works longer than anyone else and seeks praise from management, considered the ideal employee? What about the person that gets the job done the first time, with little input and keeps it under budget? Is it possible that the employee or coworker is not the problem at all, but managers who have too many independent workers, feel they are a threat to that managers existence? I mean if everyone is doing their job correctly and efficiently, what do we need managers for?
I’ve told many staff members that I’ve worked with that, if I do my job right, I’ll put myself out of a job. By and large, that’s happened, a few times. It wasn’t something I enjoyed at first, but then realizing what I was hired to do and how I created change with the companies I worked for, it actually made me proud. I did my job. When I was in college a professor told the class, the average person will have six jobs in their lifetime and four of those haven’t been invented yet. I believe that to be true. There is no question work is changing and we won’t know how until we are actually doing it. This isn’t to say that the old way of working won’t still be around, but the people that want to work that way will be less and less.