After self-confessed popularity of my blog, few frens have sent me consolation messages and replies @ one per month. Another boost to my ego has been my winning first prize in an article competition in office today. ya, i have this irritating habit of shouting from blog-tops, so here is that article. I won’t tell you though that i won the first prize in this contest which had two prizes and ye-lo, two contestants.
Making workplace more pleasant &enjoyable.
Work is the refuge of people who have nothing better to do, said Oscar Wilde. And as they say hard work never hurt anybody, but I figure why take the chance. If you are a follower of this philosophy, then you need not bother wasting your time in reading this article any further. You have already achieved your so-called nirvana of two-punch-one lunch.
I know you are one of those people who like your work so much so that you can
keep looking at it for hours without batting an eyelid or pen for that matter. Your day starts with countdown to the morning tea and so it goes on. You have given a new dimension to Maslow’s concept of ‘Self-actualisation’.
For the rest of us lesser mortals, yours truly has tried to gather and jot down certain thoughts on making work fun. First and foremost requirement for this is your attitude. It has to be positive with a capital p. Your attitude determines your altitude goes a clichéd saying. But then clichés are time-tested statements, right! Optimism is in my blood, as my blood group is “Be positive”. For others too it’s only a matter of making a habit of looking at the brighter side of things. That reminds me of the old story of a construction site. Three workers who were laying bricks on the site were asked the same question-
“What are you doing?” Answers were however far from same.
Worker A- Can’t you see, I am laying bricks!
Worker B- I am helping in construction of this huge building.
Worker C- Well, I am lucky that I am one of those laying the foundation of this landmark building. When this building is complete, I can say with pride that I am a member of the team which erected this building.
Same work, remarkably different attitude. Need I say more. Of course, giving a holistic view of things is also important so that employees can internalize the importance of their role in the whole scheme of things. Every one is important and every job is significant.
A quote by Martin Luther King Junior seems apt here, “If it falls your lot to be a street sweeper, sweep streets like Michelangelo painted pictures, sweep streets like Beethoven composed music, sweep streets like Leontyne Price sings before the Metropolitan Opera. Sweep streets like Shakespeare wrote poetry. Sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will have to pause and say: Here lived a great street sweeper who swept his job well.”
Choice is basically ours, we make the work boring or fun. We are no doubt, helped in this task, by our seniors and peers. Notesheet writing is an important part of our day-to-day jobs. I also used to dread the prospects. But since the day a senior official casually remarked that notesheet writing in PSUs is akin to TOEFL, or Test of English as a Foreign Language, my whole perspective has changed. Now I also try to perfect the art of notesheet writing helped by my seniors. It is fun learning the nuances. E.g. you don’t mark a note to your senior, you always put up a note. Marking is a senior’s prerogative. Noting side, copy-side, numbering of signs, cross-referencing, flagging, highlighting, reiterating, summarizing and the numerous ways in which a proposal can be worded to indicate the actionable and outcome. Public Sector job is cakewalk, you said, huh!
Working in PR has its own challenges. Now you can either get angry during such
moments or laugh them away. I had joined PR way back in 1997, and was
enjoying the chance to cover important events. I was thanking my stars for good
placement, when one day a small girl called over my intercom and asked, “Uncle, is it PR?” Yes, I said. And here comes the big pin to puncture my ego-bubble when she says, “A dog has died in front of our house. Can you please get it removed.?” So much for job importance. But instead of giving her a big lecture on importance of PR, I gave her the number of Health Services Department, and later we had a good laugh at the incident.
The most common hindrance to making the workplace more pleasant and enjoyable, would appear to be- Bosses. Now every boss has a boss and so on, but the refrain will remain the same. From my personal experience of working for 18 years, I have found that bosses always seem to be wrong. But in the same vain, I would add, at the cost of sounding a hypocrite, that in retrospect, every boss I worked with has made me a better manager in one way or the other. It might be unintentional or well-intentioned, but it did happen. That has made me wiser not to complain about bosses’ attitude and rather learn from it – to be like that or not be like that. This happy-go-lucky attitude has helped me enjoy work much more. Any takers for the idea!
As for more pleasant and enjoyable experiences, you just need to be a keen observer of your surroundings at workplace. Believe me, it’s a jungle out there. That includes the observer too, of course. There are people with crab-mentality, peers shedding crocodile tears, there are hares/horses and then there are tortoises/donkeys, people with catty attitude and dog’s bark and bite too, then there is your mouse chasing cheese and fishes of many types, ants and elephants, the list is endless. I have dealt with this subject in another article of mine titled “Management Panchtantra”, where I admitted to have the
qualities of all these animals before you pounce on me for being judgemental.
At times you tend to be frustrated with the way things are. But then the best way to look at things at those times is to adhere to the philosophy, “If you can not cure it, you must endure it.” Or as Gandhiji said to the effect that Be the change you want to see in the world. If even this does not help, think global, and ponder “Does it really matter?” “Kyaleke aaye the, kya leke jana hai” funda.
Because workplace or any other place, life goes on while we make other plans. So we better get hold of things and catch up. In the words of Samuel Johnson, “Pleasure is very seldom found where it is sought, our brightest blazes of gladness are commonly kindled by unexpected sparks.”
Another quality that can make our lives easier is to be grateful. In these times when everyone is talking of job-cuts and pay-freezes, we are safe and secure waiting for our wage revision. We must be thankful to the Almighty for all these mercies and consider our work not a chore or burden, but a duty and responsibility. We are getting paid for it, and well-paid at that. Enjoyment and pleasure will automatically follow.
In the end, I would just say that for making workplace more pleasant and enjoyable, we need to realize that happiness is a state of mind and it comes from within. So, let the fun begin.