Posted by: healingtheworkplace | January 3, 2013

Put Work In Its Place

Did you know that the beginning of the New Year is the best time of year to clean your house or workspace? This is the principle behind Feng Shui, which, according to Wikipedia, is a Chinese system of geomancy. Feng Shui helps improve our lives by making it possible to increase our positive Chi or energy.

One way of doing this is to get rid of the “old stuff” that has been hanging around clogging things up and preventing new energy from flowing in.

I decided to start this project off by getting rid of some of my old books. One of the first ones I came across was Put Work in Its Place by Bruce O’Hara.  Bruce wrote this book in 1988 and I was interested to see how relevant it was 25 years after it was published so I decided to have a look through it.

Today we are familiar with the concepts of stress and burnout but back in 1988 these concepts were just beginning to make an appearance in the news and around our water coolers and dinner tables.

Originally O’Hara’s book was intended for readers who were fed up with the 9 – 5 “rat race” and wanted some alternatives. In the book he provides a well thought-out approach to finding work options that  give people more control over their working lives.

O’Hara describes work options as:

“…voluntary, employee initiated arrangements to reduce or restructure work times.”

In the 1980s these work options were still considered innovative and were not widely available to most workers.

O’Hara also wrote that,

“Several futurists have estimated that by the early 2000s the average work week will fall to 20 hours per week..the good news is that more sensible work schedules are on their way.”

Unfortunately, as we know now, the futurists were wrong and the predictions made in 1988 did not come true as far as the shortened work week is concerned. In fact, the opposite has happened and many people are now working longer hours than in the past.

What did surprise me though was that back in 1988 O’Hara was himself a futurist. Although his book was not intended to predict the future most of the work options that O’Hara recommended in his book have become common place in 2013.

I’m going to stop writing now and come back to this topic in my next post.

Cheers, Lesley

PS: Out with the old…and in with the new!!!



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