As we enter a new year, we make promises for a better life — for professional successes, for stronger relationships with loved ones and with ourselves, for more happiness this year than the one before.
I think it’s safe to say that a significant portion of that happiness can be attributed to our work lives. We spend 35% of our lives at work or performing work-related tasks, and with the increased accessibility that technology gives employers, that number will likely increase.
That’s why we at Serendipity Labs are challenging ourselves — and you — to make a set of New Year’s resolutions for your work life. Over the course of the month, we’ll discuss new ways we can strive for and attain a better relationship with work. And we’d like you to join us.
The first goal: Make flexible work a reality.
Like you, we have to juggle our work commitments with personal ones. Parents have to ensure that their kids arrive at school and back home safely and that they spend quality time together in between; families take on the responsibility to care for elders or relatives with health challenges.
This has presented us with a lot of choices: to be a reliable parent or employee, to have a satisfying career or relationship. In 2016, we’ll face similar choices, but this time we seek to make them a little easier.
Earlier this year, the Scottish Government was among the first to adopt a program that promotes discussions about flexible workplace policies, marking a huge stride in the changing work-life structure. The plan should make it easier for employees to address the often taboo topic of how to make their professional lives fit their personal lives.
You might now be thinking to yourself that this would never happen in your office. After all, this is America, not Scotland.
But as a coworking space that’s supported almost entirely by the joint commitment that employers and employees have to each other, we recognize that employees are powerful. Employers benefit from having happy, motivated employees. When a company takes measures to ensure that its employees are happy, it has a higher retention rate; it gains a reputation for taking care of the people who work there, and therefore becomes more attractive to outsiders.
That said, in 2016 we’d like to take a cue from Scotland by getting vocal about the following workplace perceptions:
1. That the more hours one works or spends in the office is indicative of how serious the employee is
2. That flexible work is conversely related to professional advancement
Here’s where the challenge sets in:
Those who are benefitting from flexible working arrangements: share your experience. Get active on social media and to talk about how your quality of work and life have been affected by the change.
Those who desire more flexibility: we challenge you to investigate your options, talk to your HR department, and offer your experiences to your social network.
When you discover something new, have successes or setbacks, share your experience with us using the hashtag #SeekingSerendipity on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. We’re eager to hear how it goes.