View Full Version : Building a better day job.
07-29-2010, 11:03 PM
It strikes me as disturbing that "keep your day job" is an insult in our society as it reflects how much people really hate what jobs have become. Now lots of companies are already doing some really cool stuff to try to fix this, but I want to know what you think. So your the boss now, how will you build a better a day job?
Keep in mind: You still have to make a profit, or it will neither last nor catch on.
07-29-2010, 11:07 PM
Hrm, is this a cultural difference? Where I'm from (BC) when we say, "I/You better keep my/your day job" it means you're either not qualified for something else, or you had an idea you thought was brilliant and people think it will crash. It doesn't have anything to do with your current job.
I'm curious though, what are the really cool things companies are doing about it where you are? I enjoy hearing about interesting initiatives in the workforce.
07-29-2010, 11:19 PM
It may be a cultural difference, and not even country to country, this one could be citywide or generational. The general idea is that you suck at what you just tried, and that your only alternative is working that day job that you hate.
As far as some cool initiatives I've seen... Best Buy has setup up with many of their office employees that they are given a set amount of tasks to do, and they show up and do them when they want to. As long as its done by the due date there is no official work schedule. Google gives its engineers at least a month a year where they will let the engineer work on anything that they want to. Some of their best products have come out of this. Google also has done a lot in the way of making the whole building a creativity workshop. Those are just a couple of examples, I know that their are more, but I can't remember them off the top of my head.
07-29-2010, 11:26 PM
I've actually had a number of positions where I set my own schedule, so long as I filled in a set number of hours a week and gave my boss notice as to when I was working. I was allowed to work whenever and WHEREver I wanted, which was wonderful. This was in a health department, and when they hired me they asked me what I loved about health, took my interests and asked me to design a program about them so long as I could provide evidence that it was needed and useful. Very cool position to have.
However, these sorts of initiatives wouldn't help day jobs that require a specific number of people to be on the floor at once, like retail or cafes. Food joints, etc.
In some of my health classes when we discuss mental health and the workplace there's an emphasis on power and choice... do you get to make decisions or are you a pawn. I would guess that initiatives that allow workers to make decisions for themselves and give them more freedom of choice would make some of those jobs more tolerable. What do you think?
07-30-2010, 12:05 AM
Dan Pink did a talk on ted.com stating just that. People are happier when they have more choice than when they have more money.
07-31-2010, 06:19 AM
I think one of the biggest keys to a great workplace is making your employees feel they are appreciated. That could be an extravagant gift/bonus - or a simple, genuine "thank you".
Also, giving your employees ownership of their work. If your employees are micro-managed and can't blow their nose without filling in the correct paperwork or first checking with their supervisor, it makes it hard for them to feel they can genuinely contribute. This leads to complete lack of interest - why would you care when you are not permitted to contribute? Autonomy and ownwership are very powerful tools.
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