Our world cannot be separated anymore between analog and digital.
We are living in a digital reality.
It is no news, that all areas of our life and work are increasingly supported or even replaced by technology. We live faster and uncommitted. Facing complexity and lethargy at our workplaces. It seems like organizations cannot keep up with the pace of us evolving and stepping into a new era. This leaves us individuals feeling like ropes, which are pulled into harsh work structures on the one end, while the other end is being pulled towards a self-determined life. How should we cope with this disharmony of work and life?
As humans, freedom is one of our fundamental components of our constitution. Which it should be for our work life as well.
Now that’s the big picture of our current situation. But I, as an individual ask for a deeper change. In fact, I think change has to start at the core. Organizations, irrelevant of size and function, face the war of talent – the war for young, qualified workforce, the so-called Millennials. Being one of the representatives of this controversial Generation Y, I need to share a thought with you. After having gone through a couple of internships and first experiences in larger well-known companies, I always came back to the same conclusion. I realized, I would not be able to work in such a workspace for the rest of my working life. It wasn’t the teams or simple tasks, the dress code or the inventive canteen food that bothered me the most. I simply just could not identify with what I did there and even worse, I couldn’t figure out, why I or my co-workers were doing the work activities they were doing! Was all this activity purely justifying the house, the car, and the food? Is this why we work?
What I and most of my generation are looking for is more than work-life balance and high salary, we want to know why we work with, and not for, a company. Ideally, we’d like to choose which offer suits our purpose and our values best. Now you could say, that this sounds quite cocky.
Maybe it is, but maybe it is just a changed perspective between work and life – if I’m spending more than half of my life working, why shouldn’t I choose something I really stand for, I really support and live for.
Naturally, organizations are starting to provide alternative models such as more flexibility, sabbaticals and open work spaces with areas for socializing. In my opinion, this is a great start for re-thinking how organizations are run, how we want to collaborate in future and make work part of our life – work life blend.
More importantly than flexible working hours and home office is building on trust and creating that opportunity of self-responsibility. When I was working in those companies in question, I knew I was at the bottom of the food chain. But still, I was eager to learn, to develop and longed for challenges to tackle on my own – how should anyone grow if you are not being challenged to go beyond your comfort zone and truly feel empowered to create something greater than yourself? Unfortunately, I was rarely given the chance to prove, that I could do more than copy paste Excel sheets.
Now, I’m with SOULWORX and we’re living a fluid organization between Berlin and Hamburg. We are a small network of individuals, who have collectively rallied around a common purpose, and seem to all embrace and embody a similar set of values that include trust, self-responsibility and flexibility. I can determine my own pace in completing certain tasks, while taking on the responsibility, through commitment, of getting things done in time. Within an open and transparent comprehension of practiced values and ‘how things are done’, we all are truly efficient and effective at the same time. That’s how I experience being truly valued as part of our organization, and equally feel motivated to commit my best and to carry forward a purpose I fully believe in.
After all, how do you transform an organization from old habits and methods to one that fits into our way of life, our flow today?
It all starts with purpose, trust and self-responsibility. When organizations know what they stand for and what they will stand for in future, what consequences are involved and how their purpose can be executed internally and externally, that is when these organizations will initiate drive and innovation that matters. So my take is, be brave, stand for why you do what you do. Let yourself and your co-workers become involved and engaged by a shared purpose and self-chosen commitment.
We need the freedom of work, to empower ourselves and our organizations in a new way.
I believe, we are ready to take on a new era where we ourselves decide, what we’re willing to contribute and what we’re expecting to receive in return. Take a moment and think about it.