Knowledge economy is redefining work

24Feb14

WORK IS MORE ABOUT FINDING MEANING AND INDEPENDENCE.

According to a 2013 study by the Centre for Economic Performance at the London School of Economics and Political Science paid work was ranked lower than any of the other 39 specific activities the survey respondents quantified, with the exception of being sick in bed.

The researchers found that there is only one aspect of work that “results in happiness levels that are similar to those experienced when not working”–casual interactions with colleagues. In other words, the only part of work we seem not to rank above the flu is socializing at work.

So if the best way to be happy at work is to chat with your colleagues, why aren’t we encouraging more socializing? Well, because it’s business. And business, for the most part, still operates under the principle of efficiency to drive productivity.

But some startups are starting to see things differently and conceive of the workplace more as a social arena and less as a conduit for productivity. At the open-source code sharing and developer community GitHub almost all of the staff works remotely. In its early years, the company didn’t even have a physical office. After finding a loft-like space and making it the company’s headquarters, the company turned the front third into an employee lounge, bar, and party area filled with funky furniture and a DJ setup. According to Scott Chacon, co-founder and CIO of GitHub, the “headquarters” is primarily a social hub, not a work place.

Read the full article here

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