This article will not self-destruct in 5 seconds. You’re not Ethan Hunt and unfortunately your workplace isn’t Mission: Impossible. The corporate world and the office work model are too full of corporate fluff and their own bullshit that business, companies and you as an individual forget what it’s all about.
The end result for all of us should be – where can we provide the most effective value? Using our time to the best effect to get the desired result? And the knock on effect of this would be having more of our own time to enjoy.
This little ditty was originally written and published on The Discomfort Zone, written by yours truly. I thought I’d steal my own writing for the site re-launch.
Sitting in your little cubicle, looking at your name placard, and waiting a good 5 minutes for your computer to turn on, being requested to re-enter your user name and password to log-on. A password? What? You’re an accountant, a data entry clerk, a desk jockey, who cares what’s on your computer? But no, make sure your password contains 6-8 characters, it must contain a number and also a capital letter, because the work you’re doing is top-secret and important, you’re not an employee #, you’re special!
Corporate manuals, excessive paper work, red tape, swipe cards, procedures; and all before you’ve actually ‘done’ your ‘job’… Wearing a T-shirt with a slogan today? How dare you. Collared shirts and neat attire, we don’t want our clients & customers thinking we employ free thinking colourful individuals with their own sense of style, actually we’ll go one better, put this uniform on.
A more recent direction is for the ‘new rich’ and the next generation of innovators to be aiming for mobility and freedom – the ultimate goals. If you’ve been checked into the asylum for a while you’ve been conditioned, you have 8 or 9 hours a day to fill, send some emails, file some documents, drag that day out.
If someone dropped the bomb on you then you’d move into gear and get your work complete in no time. Your entire day is filled with corporate fluff, meetings, agenda’s, staff emails and all of those ‘important’ things.
Ego-Tripping at the Gates of … Work
The working environment is filled with people on power trips and more often than not, you’ll be on the receiving end of the power trip and office politics. It would make an interesting social study – Jerk bosses and whether they were picked on in school! But now, unfortunately for you, they have the power!
Have you ever bumped into a boss or someone higher up the work ladder than you outside of work hours? Feels a bit weird? Between the hours of 9 – 5 if they tell you to jump, you have to ask how high? But now… nothing? The working world creates a false sense of authority and respect. Why should you respect someone just because they’ve been doing the same mundane job for the last 20 years and have slowly crawled their way up a corporate hierarchy?
The working environment lets people wheel and deal, ‘talk’ about big sums of money, secure ‘that’ big deal, meet ‘associates’ and drive the company car. Squint your eyes a bit and it does seem like an opening scene from Mission: Impossible, fortunately not. The corporate environment encourages the small man syndrome, power struggles & politics and unfortunately you’re going to be another rung on the ladder for your boss to climb over.
Out with the old
So what am I proposing? We’re a new generation, out with the old school, in with the new school. We have the technology; emails, webinars, communications. Is your full-time presence in the office required for 8 hours today? Enjoy the hour long meeting you’ll be trying not to fall asleep in. There are too many people doing work just for the sake of work. If we moved towards being effective, remembering what the end goal or result that we’re striving for then things would get done a lot quicker. We need to be working smarter, not harder, in everything we’re doing.
A short side note, I’ve been called into countless amounts of absolutely pointless meetings, so that some ‘manager’ can go over the same things and justify their position, again and again… If you want to start looking forward to your meetings like they’re Christmas morning, get a few co-workers involved and play wank-word bingo, a few of my favourite buzz words to look out for are; “Touch Base”, “Streamline”, “Strategic Fit”, “At the end of the Day” and “Take that on Board”.
Head over to here and print off your own bingo cards, here’s to finally having a reason to stay awake in meetings!
Call to Action
So are you sick of being told when you can head to the bathroom to take a pee? At what time during the day you’re allowed to snack for lunch? I’d probably go insane if I wasn’t allowed to make personal phone calls during the day, but I know some of you out there aren’t allowed to do that either! Which is easier? Working for the weekly paycheck or taking a chance on life? Can you freelance, sub-contract or start a small business, providing YOUR value directly to the end user? If it goes arse over tit you can always come back to the safety of the office cubicle? Our focus should be on providing the maximum value to the end user and cutting out the middle men along the way. You have options out there, once you open your mind and start looking you’ll find plenty of like-minded individuals and opportunities.
Your challenge – A minor level of discomfort permanently, versus a temporary stray out of the comfort zone for the possibility of limitless reward?