Let’s first make one thing clear: It’s not all about you (remember, we did away with titles). It’s about working with your Team. And, as in healthy relationships, compromise will sometimes be necessary. Work will be necessary that nobody is “passionate” about. Hopefully, people are passionate about the company and find joy in completing work that is ultimately good for the company. But some individuals think the Future of Work is just about them working on whatever they want to work on (see Be Pragmatic in our next section). This clearly can’t be the case for a business to succeed!
In a perfect world, everybody would work on projects that intersected with their passions and strengths. We don’t live in a perfect world (Again, see Be Pragmatic in the next section). Hell, we love remote work, but there are clearly jobs where that isn’t possible. We doubt we will be able to get our teeth cleaned via video chat anytime soon.
We’ve found that the best people to make decisions about “what to do next” on a Team is the collective wisdom of the team. When the Team agrees on what to work on, everyone automatically sees the value. Then, it’s a matter of deciding how everyone’s roles play into actually doing the work.
Maybe we’ve made another base assumption here: You are in a role because you enjoy that role. For example, most of the people we’ve met in product and design roles are passionate about product and design. If you are not passionate about your role we suggest the following: Do something you’re passionate about!
Hesitant to do whatever it takes to switch roles/ career paths? We recommend the following steps:
- Volunteer at a Hospice
- Talk with those in the last days of their life
- Be reminded of your own mortality
If you follow these steps we’re fairly certain you’ll be willing to do what it takes to switch roles. Remember, it’s not your companies fault if you don’t enjoy the career path you’ve chosen. Only you have the power to make the change you want to be in the world. (We could copy and paste these thoughts in the Be Pragmatic section, but we won’t).
Let’s gently switch topics from mortality to work schedules. There are a few night owls on Team Sobol. We are a grateful bunch because our circadian rhythms just don’t work on the 9 to 5 schedule. So why would a company ever try to force everyone to fit one schedule? Remember, at the beginning, when we said that cells and microbes make individuals unique. Well, individuals also have their own unique rhythms. Donnie, no matter how little sleep he gets the night before, is almost never tired before midnight. Bryan enjoys waking up before his kids for a clear head. Vic is cyclical. He works in fits and bursts over the course of a day. When we meet in person we force ourselves to hard charge on one schedule, but we are glad it’s only temporary.
Lastly, the Future of Work involves working from where you want, if that is something your job permits. There are some obvious benefits:
- Access to a (much) larger applicant pool
- Lower costs (no renting office space)
- Happier employees who can travel (for leisure) and work
Commuting is usually unhealthy. It is unhealthy to the environment in the form of carbon spewed into the atmosphere to move a person from one place to another. It is unhealthy for a human body. Commuting, especially by car, is found to decrease happiness and overall health by increasing stress and sedentariness. Remote working rids one of the need to commute (of which one usually does at the same time as everyone else). While an increase in one’s well-being is an expected benefit, the feelings of wellness as a result of remote work are usually much higher than one anticipates.
Again, we understand that our various dental hygienists (who we are pretty sure enjoy their jobs) need an office with that big chair, the bright light, and all those tools. And we’re grateful for that setup! That’s one of the reasons we put this last. But, if remote work works for your Team, then we suggest you give it a shot.