Office job and the power of nonsense
Monday. What is a big deal with it, you might guess? It is just a typical day — same as Saturday, Sunday or Thursday.
But for some reason, many people feel like it’s the worst day of the week. Some say it loud, some say about it during some small coffee-talks, others just think about it, but never say.
Have you ever thought why it happened to our society and what possibly went wrong?
During all the years I’ve been working in the office I’ve been questioning myself many questions:
1. Why I’m arriving here every day?
2. Is there a particular reason for me coming to this place and then just stare at the computer if I can do the same in another place?
3. Why exactly am I supposed to work 8 hours there? I might complete my job in 3 hours one day, 5 hours the other day or 9 hours some other day. Am I supposed to waste my precious time coming there every day even if I can work more efficient?
4. Why the main person who has all controls in my life is my boss?
5. We only live once. Taking a rest 6 days a month (weekends) and working all the other days — is that really all we can come up with?
After thinking about questions, let’s take a better look at what exactly is an outcome of office jobs. Before I mention those points, please understand that I mostly mean IT jobs since those jobs are meant to be portable and remote, while other jobs such as a dentist, doctor or someone working in a service sector cannot be office-free and it’s totally understandable.
So, why exactly office is that bad?
1. Car-related costs and accidents
See all that traffic every day, especially in big cities? Guess what, it’s a result of non-portable office jobs. We have created an illusion that we need to be physically present all the time every day and your boss might be even super brutal about what time you exactly come at your work.
Traffic creates rush and rush creates accidents. And the funniest thing — you pay it all from your pocket. Gas, tickets, insurance deductibles and your car breakdowns.
Most of the people do those things blindly without realizing how bad is all that to our society.
Why not just allow attending those meetings remotely in the comfort you deserve and being in a better mood and a state of mind? We are living in the 21st century, why physical office presence is something that many people still believe in?
2. Rent prices and undesirable locations
Since we are required to come to the office every day the people who provide housing are taking advantage of us. The prices spike like crazy and we end up paying premiums for living in places that we would never want to live, but since we have a good paying job we live there. We are ready to sacrifice every single bit of our freedom just for the sake of working at that chosen position, even if we don’t like that location.
Since our employers want us to be on time we end up overspending just to live closer to a job. Again, we overspend so much from our pocket for no specific reason. Who are we falling so easily into this trap?
3. It is bad for your health overall
There are multiple factors that make an office job a bad place for you. Recycled air, breathing office chemicals, people sharing their diseases through the air with you and the main one — stress. True, remote job also has stress, but sitting at a location of your choice is a big relief. And imagine how much time you wasted while commuting. Yes, if you convert it to years it might be an impressive number which you could have lived the other way.
4. It is bad for environment
Imagine how much better it would have been if there were 70% fewer cars on the roads during busy commute hours. Nature would say a huge “thank you!”, our roads would have been in a better shape and maybe even climate change would be a very distant thing.
5. It takes away all your freedom.
This is the main reason why I think office job is an evil. Telecommute doesn’t give you all the freedom either, but at least you can choose where you live and how much do you spend. Office job means a static location with very limited freedom of your options. It’s a chain attaching you to the office chair. You are almost a disabled person. Disabled by your own choice, of course.
6. It makes an environment with no trust and wrong values.
Your boss doesn’t want you to be working remotely since this way he thinks that he will not be able to control you. Does it sound fishy already? Yes, it is. Your boss got used to a feeling that working remotely is something bad and he cannot rely on you this way. Trust is very important, but for some reason, many employers still don’t trust their employees. Yes, I blame office job for that too. Trust either exists or not and it’s proven by a person productivity and the way he does things. Nothing else really matters and a good manager should know that. My applause for those managers who understand the importance of telecommuting and remote jobs.
7. In a modern world, it provides almost no benefits
What is the reason that you need to be physically present anyway? You can always share your screen, have a video-chat and discuss all the details you want. In the rare event that you need to be physically present, you could always arrange a meeting with a person and have it discussed this way. Not a big deal.
8. It’s not good for employer either
Guess what — employer pays a huge price to rent all those office buildings. The employer pays a lot for those trashy-salty-unhealthy snacks and your coffee supply too. I understand that this is probably one of the only benefits of being in the office for an employee, but all those things cost money. And a lot of money. And all those pointless coffee-talks also minutes (or hours) that your employer pays to you. Being office-free will save that for the employer and you might actually become more productive without all those distractions.
9. It creates a false sense of security
Office job creates a sense of something permanent and secure. Stock/stock options, salary, benefits. While it might sound great it’s just a plain lie in the most cases. In an unstable world that we have right now nothing is really permanent. It can all collapse in a second and all that security is gone. I’m not saying that freelance will provide those qualities at all, but at least it teaches you how to position yourself and you are always prepared that changes might come tomorrow.
In my honest opinion, office job is something really outdated and I hope that the world will really move forward when we finally realize that there is absolutely nothing good in being physically present — almost everything could be done remotely.
Let’s build a better world together, let’s trust each other and let’s do an evaluation of the work done based on actual work and not just an hours spent behind a computer. And who knows — we might wake up in a better world tomorrow.