Can We Enjoy Working?
Today, I’d like to bring up a question to which different generations might have variable answers: if work should be fun and enjoyable, or laborious and painful.
Early Heisei period: Work was hard as its nature
When I started working 27 years ago, many of the senior Salarymen told me that “work is tough and hard as its nature.”
Of course, there were some said “it should be fun,” but they were few.
I thought, “Ok, that’s the way it is, and it cannot be helped,” though I felt I didn’t like it.。
Wait, it’s not painful at all!: My experience
A while ago, I started to realize that work is not hard for me when I reflected on my work experience.
Rather than that, it is fun.
I had the pleasure of learning to do new things, and the team relationship and the seniors in the team were quite helpful to me.
However, there are certainly some who are working painfully.
Work is challenging
On the other hand, I felt “work is difficult and challenging.”
There are lots that you cannot do when you’re a starter, and the lack of experience makes things more difficult. From that point of view, I had everyday pressure and a feeling of toughness at work.
I was feeling pressure and challenges, but still, work was fun for me.
Here, I’d like to figure out the differences between those who enjoy working and those see work to be painful, and what makes that pain.
Work itself is painful
The first version is because the work itself is painful. Work is painful because:
- the working hour is too long and you’re physically tired,
- the work is too difficult for your skill,
- you think your work is meaningless and therefore painful.
These are possible reasons.
However, I guess these factors are decreasing in today’s society.
Today, the idea that too long hours of work are undesirable is thoroughly spread.
Also, from the company compliance perspective, there’s less and less opportunity that you need to work on tasks at which you have significantly less skill than required.
Furthermore, computers and machines are replacing more and more of the simple tasks; human beings have come not to have to do them.
So, the hardness in “work itself” must be growing less and less.
Work relationship is painful
Another possible reason besides work itself is work relationships.
A workplace relationship is different from a non-work relationship.
Usually, one and another is equal, and they are together only when both of them want to.
However, relationships in the workplace are not necessarily equal, and you must keep it even if you don’t want to.
According to a survey, more than 50% have thought of changing their jobs due to the difficulties in the relationship.
Especially, vertical relationships with seniors and supervisors tend to be the hardest.
Unfairness is the source of pain
Honestly, I didn’t have difficulties in the vertical relationship even in my twenties.
Now that I think it was because there was no unfairness.
In the traditional organization hierarchy, so-called Showa-era hierarchy, supervisors held the absolute power so that subordinates had to do what their bosses said, at last.。
Discussions are not fair, and things are decided not based on ideas themselves but on who said that idea.
And when the conclusions are given in the form of “do-this” order, you cannot help feeling unfair.
In my idea, this unfairness is the source of pain in the workplace relationship.
Painful work is sinful.
Painful work is sinful
When work itself is painful, it means the work is out-of-date in this society of technology.
Naturally, out-of-date companies will not survive, so they definitely should do something.
Also, the pain in the human relationship creates unnecessary stress, so they should remove it, too.
Colorkrew takes “Super Flat Organization” where there are no managers, and therefore, there’s no stress of vertical hierarchy. Even at a company with a typical hierarchy structure, pain in the workplace relationship can be removed when positions are conceived to be ‘roles’ and by removing the upper-lower relationship.
In short, by improving the work itself and the relationships at a workplace, it is quite likely that the work will not be painful.
Work is fun when
There, if you could get rid of the two pain, would the work be fun?
My answer here is ‘No.’
“It is not painful” does not mean it is fun.
To make work fun, you first need a vision.
Then, teams should be giving challenges toward the vision.
Supervisors are not observers who only evaluate the subordinates, but they work with them in their challenges.
When the team is doing its best to fulfill the vision, the work is truly fun, at last.
Goalous, the communication tool that drives teams toward their goal, could be great assistance to make your work fun. Please feel free to give it a trial.
▼Change ISAO to Colorkrew.