We have gone through many developmental stages. We had revolutions and ages that changed how we worked. The introduction of the working day, or the working week… there have been advancements labelling white collar vs blue collar workers…. Will Covid19 be the latest in our stages that define how we work?
I often think that as a race, we developed and invented so many things. We had discoveries and advanced at massive rates. Then we stopped. We stopped inventing things. We stopped creating. It takes a unique individual now to stand out and be creative. Steve Jobs and Elon Musk type people come to the foreground as innovative and groundbreaking changers of our lives.
Doesn’t it feel like our predecessors invented things every five minutes? They created and developed everything: radio and television, print and type, housing, art, government, microchips, the list goes on. Why did we stop? Was everything invented? If everyone was side tracked by the division of states and warring, how did inventors end up coming to a halt? They weren’t warring. What was their excuse for ceasing all creativity?
I know that technology is advancing in leaps and bounds. But surely that can’t be all that is left? Thank goodness for Elon Musk. I am always awed by his creativity. His insight into what people need, and his generosity in supplying it, even for free if he feels like it, is truly unique.
But now Covid19 might be our new creator. Do we go from a five days working week, or eight hour day, to something unrecognisable? We have only had these schedules for the past 200 years or so. They are a new invention. And one that was used to enable the working people enough time to spend the money they had earned working 14 hour days. Now there is online shopping, home delivery, and easy access to the internet to go shopping on your phone during your lunch break.
There’s not much need for down time for spending our hard earned money. But we do need to relax. We can now do that at any time of the week. You can dine out any night, see a movie or catch a show. Holidaying, even overnight, is cheaper midweek or away from holiday peak travelling times.
And we are appreciating our family time too now. A lot more people working from home began to have more interaction with their loved ones, and appreciate the ability to be in their lives while growing up, graduating school, seeing everything their spouses took part in. I would love to be able to see my youngest after he finished school for the day! Taking away commuting time does lead to perhaps more socialisation time, less road rage, and the many advantages to getting dinner into everyone before soccer/football/netball/tennis/cricket training.
I also feel like I haven’t mentioned Elon Musk in a few paragraphs. Did we ever find out how to pronounce his child’s name? Countries that have trialled the four day working week have had mixed reactions. Inherently a nice idea, if your income loses eight hours, is your way of life threatened? Everyone loves the idea of time off to catch up on the house, kids, yourself. But have you stopped to think about the consequences?
I am a fan of the pros and cons listing. I might do it mentally, but will always stop myself to evaluate all angles of a decision. Perhaps that’s why I would favour a split week: part in the office, part at home. It still makes a difference to finish work at 5pm, open your door, and there’s everyone you want to spend time with. For approximately two weeks I got to work from home. It was fantastic! So I think I would like to split my week and if I could choose the days, maybe better, but I would appreciate any time at home to not run myself into the ground. Would burnout still be a thing if we were able to take it relatively easy one or two days each week?
At least that way, there would be days at home, days at the office to catch up with everything, days to sleep in slightly longer! Who knows what will be the outcome of this pandemic? At least something new will be invented that moves us all forward. Besides everything Elon Musk has done.