When work is a pleasure.

Being of Service.

Well of course the question has to be…….Is it a pleasure?
The thing that you do, the thing that you offer to the world in either a paid or unpaid capacity.
Is it a pleasure?

I love things to be simple.

So for my year of pleasure and everything in it, including the work I do, I’m paring back to as simple a definition as I can manage for what’s a pleasure.

As far as work goes, it’s a pleasure for me if

  • I can look my employer, customer, client and suppliers in the eye and say that doing business with them is a pleasure.
  • And mean it.
  • And I feel it in my body.
Anything from a warm glow to spontaneous broad grinning, right up to quite bursting with happiness at the work we’re doing together.
If it’s not a positive pleasure, just neutral, there’s no positive physical feeling and no negative one either.
Then there’s the pain.
When work, or the way I’m in service to the world, is far from a pleasure.
When I can’t say that working with them is a pleasure.
I feel that in my body too.
In my shoulders, scrunched up.
In my stomach, tense and tight (and not in the toned and healthy way that I might one day, work up to, aspire to).

Apology to my body

It’s possible, depending on just how busy and pre-occupied I am, for my body to hold on to this tension for a good while before I even notice it’s there.
Maybe years.
Sorry body. So sorry. I didn’t know any better back then. I’m making amends.

Your tally

Thinking of the people you know, including yourself, what proportion do you think would say, that for them, what they do for a living, their service to the world, is a pleasure?
With the happiness to productivity research becoming more and more undeniable, wouldn’t it be in everyone’s best interests to have that proportion up as high as we can get it?
Maybe 100%.
What’s your figure, amongst the people you know? What proportion would say work is a pleasure?
And for you?

Not black and white

Or maybe it’s not black and white like that. It’s not a yes or a no.
Maybe the question is more like how much of it is a pleasure?
Is 80% of it a pleasure and you’re perfectly happy with that?
Is there a figure or a proportion below which you’d want to make changes? 50%, 40%?

I’d say it’s a low figure

I seem to have been speaking to an increasing amount of people lately who are reaching the end of their tether. For whom work being a pleasure is a very distant memory.
Even dyed in the wool, man and boy ‘company people’ who I thought would be loyal to the end, are beginning to say enough.

I’m interested from a human perspective.

I’m interested as I think about the working environment my son will join.
And I’m interested, as a consumer, in there being companies I feel happy to buy from.

I’m beginning a research project into what makes work a pleasure.

  • What are the essential needs that make it a pleasure.
  • And on the other side, what are the needs that are absent and without which people will leave.
  • And whether their organisations are willing and able to meet those needs.
I’ve started the first series of interviews (working titles)
  • “When work is a pleasure” for people who currently find their work in an organisation to be a pleasure.
and
  • “When work is far from a pleasure” for people who, despite the economic climate, have left their jobs, maybe even without another job to go to.
If you fit one of those descriptions, or know of someone who does, and would like to talk to me about what makes work a pleasure, please get in touch.
You can simply be a part of the research or be interviewed for the blog, use your name or be anonymous as you wish.
Send me an e-mail pauline(at)withintegrity(dot)co(dot)uk. Or you can use the contact page.
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