We are truly living in the future. The dystopian future. The one that dystopia-obsessed novelists and doomsday-ish astrologers so frequently allude to. And like most of the world, I’ve had ample time to absorb and reflect over the past few weeks. I’ve silently scrolled through articles that tell you how to work better from home, or how to hold on to your jobs (you need to upskill, silly), what sort of marketing messages you should be giving out (more on that later), or how the future of work is remote. And you know what?
The future of the workplace is not remote. The future of the workplace is human. Humane.
At least I hope it is. Empathy should not be reserved for the ‘normal’ world.
No, I promise you I’m not going to get all wishy-washy and tell you to start eating leaves and move to the Himalayas – although that does sound rather appealing now, doesn’t it?
Here’s what I am going to say. We are living through a pandemic, through a time that most of us never ever imagined we would see and would never ever wish upon our coming generations. And yet, we are bombarded by articles and inspirational quotes that tell you that if you don’t learn at least one new skill during this time, you clearly have a problem with discipline and not time.
Thing is – it’s a little hard to be disciplined when people are dying, and we wake up to uncertainty every single day. And if you are writing or reading this article, then you know that we are still not bearing the worst of it. It’s even worse when you think of how tough things already were for so many of us – both materially and metaphysically.
So please, can we obsess a little less about being productive at this time and a little more about being human.
- Can we not exhort our employees to work long hours because they were lucky enough to hold on to their jobs?
- Can we not post “how to be productive while working from home” tips, for some time? (Everyone now knows they need to take short breaks and sip on herbal teas.) And believe me, pros like Slack, Flock and Zoom have “how to remote” covered well enough; I worked for one of them previously.
- Can we not share hiring posts where we invite people who love working long hours to join us? This is really happening, I'm not making it up!
Can we, instead, make the workplace human again?
- Can we tell our folks, our family and friends that it’s okay to feel the slump and be human?
- That it’s okay to be overwhelmed and still be filled with gratitude for all our blessings, remote jobs, et al?
- That if you have to learn something during this time, why not learn how to be a better human being? The world is full of so many good examples right now. They make the news every single day.
So please, stand up for your team, your household help, your furry friends, your self and for your right to just be.
As for me, well, I hope that we all learn to be more kind during this time – to our great big, blue planet and all its glorious creatures. What do you hope for?
PS: If you think this is a rant, it probably is. Can’t blame me – it was on my list of to-dos for today!