Recently I have visited two places in my past life where I worked, and also an office where I do occasional work but rarely visit ... where my computer is my communicator.
These visits reminded me of the reasons why I loved to work, and why it was so hard to finally accept that I must stop. I realise how fortunate I was to be able to continue to work until the decision to leave was mine... not always the case these days.
Looking back on that time after leaving work, I‘m sure I mourned for what was no longer the part of me I defined as my ‘profession’. I missed my colleagues and the students.
The office I visited was such an extraordinary experience. Here was a group of mainly young people in a largish space, no walls, no barriers, all heads down and tails up, the boss over in a corner working earnestly on his computer and safely trusting everyone else to be working as hard.....and they were.
The buzz in the room was exciting, and I had a sense of that collegiate feeling that these people were enjoying together. When I walked out I thought ‘This is what I miss most...that sense of togetherness in the work room, the occasional crazy humour and the silly pranks that lighten the day when things sometimes grow dark.’ It is all about bonding together to make the best team, and in this case it was surely working.
I have known and heard of a number of office workers and business people who have worked from home....for a while. Many eventually return to the workplace, not because they are more successful financially by doing so, but because the satisfaction and rewards in sharing a workplace, celebrating success together with fellow workers, commiserating over failures which certainly happen, sharing personal stories, have all helped knit together the fabric of their lives as a team, a mateship.
My son and daughters are members of that work force and I love to hear the stories of their work environment, and when they know their staff are working as a team. I can sense in their voices the enjoyment and stimulation they receive from the work they share with others in that working environment, a great sense of personal satisfaction.
My son and daughters are members of that work force and I love to hear the stories of their work.
Someone once famously remarked ‘I have never heard anyone say they wished they had worked longer hours in the office ’. True, but the satisfaction of a good day’s work, being financially rewarded and setting achievable aims for oneself is a very satisfying end goal.
Retirement can bring rewards in giving back to the community in an equally satisfying but different way, through volunteering. There is more choice, less structure. Freedom!
In another quite different environment to the work place, having moved into a community, I see that same support for each other, a sense of the absurd at times among the residents in the village, of self-deprecating laughter at oneself, but that same sense of collegeism, the ‘we’re in this together till whenever’ view of life.