Work: like a 2nd home, wherever that may be.

Posted: June 18, 2015 in Uncategorized

Today I’m part of a small conversational aspect to a massive show at the ExCel – the Facilities Management Show.  It’s for people who design, build, fit, run, smarten and protect our working spaces.  There’s clearly a lot of the people in this profession to pack most of the ExCel out.  There’s clearly a lot of working spaces to create and look after.

We are mostly fortunate enough to have a home.  Shared or otherwise, a place we can feel safe, rest our heads and share with our nearest and dearest.  Many of us also have a thing we call work where we often come together with other people in pursuit of some shared aspiration; to produce something; support other people etc.

I’ve just had advance preview of the report from the 3 month, online conversation I’ve been part of: the Workplace Conversation (#twpc)

Screenshot 2015-06-18 at 08.02.33

In this report are no real revelations.  There are though lots of reminders.  And a great idea to bring continuing collaboration and ideas to this space we call work.  Wherever that may be.

I make no secret of my love of what I do for a living.  It IS me.  There’s no line between work and life for me just one big circle with everything inside it.

This report and my pleasure at having spent time with the people behind this super piece of work is a call to arms for ALL OF US.  Don’t just sit back passively and accept rubbish workplaces; don’t sit on your hands when the chance comes to redesign your workplace; don’t ignore the chance to be part of something that shapes a more humane place to work.

Be active.  I’m going to dedicate some of my time, effort, thought, resource, people, connections, ideas and whatever else I can to identify the brilliant things SOME people do in creating and designing a truly warm, 2nd home type place of work.

This isn’t the realms of unicorns and fairies.  There’s no reason why we have to put up with Satanic Mills in 2015.  The spot welder in his lock-up; the office worker in their tower block; or the nurses in their care home NEED and deserve a place they feel as comfortable in, secure in, and enabled by to call a workplace.

I was with a team of leaders in a very successful engineering company recently and they described this concept of why they chose to work where they do

“It feels like a 2nd home”.

Wow – isn’t that amazing?  Isn’t that possible for all if not most of us.

Now with the advent of freelancers, remote working and the like our home can become our place of work also.  I fundamentally believe though that we crave and thrive human contact and want to be part of something – even if occasionally.  That’s why as an independent practitioner, I like being onsite with clients; the feel, the flow the company.  But all the time, same place would drive me mad.  So I like home, I like being a cuckoo in someone else’s nest for a while (or a guest at a party), I like co-working spaces; I like coffee shops and hotel lounges.

This place we call work needs as much attention as all the other factors at play like digital technologies; human spirit and psychology and experiences of life.

Someone said to me today, they’d rather stand one mile away from the rain and watch it fall on the horizon than the gain of materialist products.

I’d rather hear about workplaces EVERYWHERE that are warmly referred to as 2nd homes.  I’d love to help make that happen and I hope you now do too.

Well done to BIFM and CIPD for the guts to take a conversational, not academic or consultant-led research approach to this area.  I hope we see many 2nd home quotes popping up online as a result of this.

The report is available from the BIFM website.

I’m off to a couple of 2nd homes now.  Have fun everyone!

  1. […] then moved on to employee experience in the workplace. Mervyn said lines are blurred, as Perry’s recent blog says workplace can be home, and it’s NOT an age thing either, people over forty use […]

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