Understanding business improvement sometimes requires understanding business failure. A sarcastic yet pointed letter from one blogger highlights why different generations see work differently.
The full missive appears on Switch & Shift, but here are a few excerpts:
I’m also thankful that you never asked for personal feedback or input into department operations. God knows that a lowly employee on the front lines like me never had valuable insights into how the company could help me work better.
My favorite thing about your traditional office was when I was done with my work at 2pm, but you made me sit there until 5pm. Or if you were having a good day and I wasn’t afraid to ask, you generously let me leave at 4:45pm. Your flexibility in wasting my time fit the old-school office template to a T.
The author, Ryan Eggenberger, continues with a few more zingers:
My transition from corporate life to solopreneur hasn’t been overnight. In fact, I’ve been working on my transition for the past three to six months, working diligently on my business before and after work, and weekends. I have already duplicated my income on the side, ensuring me that I can pay rent next month. Officially quitting my corporate gig is the final piece to the transition.
As an entrepreneur, I’m able to be the boss: I work when I want and under my conditions. Unlike in your office, I am able to focus 90% of my energy on what I’m good at doing, and hire out the other 10% to somebody else. While this may sound like I work less, the reality is that I actually work way more than the “factory 40”, often from 6am until I go to bed. It doesn’t bother me though because I’m building my dream doing work that I love.
Finally, the letter wraps up with commentary about telecommuting and social status:
I can also work from anywhere so long as I have an Internet connection. Unfortunately, boss, you did not allow me this freedom, even though working from home would have eliminated overhead costs for you and would have provided me a quiet, distraction-free space from coworkers to focus on my work. Oh well!
All in all, I’m thankful for having worked for you. You made me realize that as a young person, I had to get out fast or else I would settle for mediocrity like a majority of the working American public.
These are some rather harsh words about how to improve business. But even though the tone is snarky, there are some interesting points. Work should really be about collaboration and progress, not about authoritarian control and looking busy. And while the letter may not represent everyone working with Gen Y, it certainly strikes a chord with many.
There are major challenges to the way we work today. How will we contribute to overall business improvement in the future? We can either make change from within or forge our own path.