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With the growing number of freelancers and telecommuting professionals, CEOs faced the challenge of making the office the place they want to return to. Companies create entire complexes for their employees with infrastructure, halls for yoga and dancing, colorful furniture, hammocks and snack bars. What should be a comfortable office in terms of psychology?
X, igryki considered
The popular theory of generations, developed by William Strauss and Neil Howe, says that the life of society consists of repeating generational cycles, which are characterized by certain values and qualities, in accordance with which their attitude to material and labor goods changes. Researchers divided the US population (and later their hypothesis was adapted for other countries) into baby boomers born in the period 1943-1963, representatives of generation X (1963-1984) and generation Y (1984-2000). The current "servants" of offices belong to a greater extent to the last two categories.
The formation of X's personalities was influenced by mass divorces, perestroika and the cold war, generation X is a pragmatic people prone to skepticism, political and social indifference. The main labor value for them is good earnings. To a large extent, these values are due to the instability of the economic and political situation in which representatives of generation X grew up, and it is precisely to overcome this instability that their personal values are directed: high position in society and life in abundance.
A good office in the city center with a classic design, a measured life according to the schedule, official recognition of merit and other attributes of labor well-being was and remains important to this generation. But it is being replaced by generation Y, which is opposed to generation X, including when it comes to labor values.
Generation Y is commonly referred to as the “digital generation”. The development of technology has had a particular impact on the values and behavior of this generation. As well as for generation X, for representatives of generation Y the main labor value is high income, but, unlike all previous generations, such values as “self-realization” and “good working conditions” come to the fore.
Gamblers want to do what they are interested in, to feel free and get paid for it. There are many freelancers and downshifters among them who prefer an oceanfront hammock to a soulless office. For them, nothing is impossible, and if Ygrek wants to practice yoga in Sri Lanka and typeset Russian-language magazines, then he will find a way to make his plans come true. Therefore, this generation needs to be offered something as comfortable as a Goa hammock in their workspace.
Mugs, Buddhas, my Self
It is clear that generation Y is of particular interest among the three currently working generations from the point of view of corporations, since in the coming years it will become the main one in terms of the number of employed or people willing to find a job. This is why it is so important for large corporations to retain their employees by all means. They are ready to offer young employees opportunities for self-realization in exchange for their creativity and readiness for irregular loads, if they are really interested in work. And this desire to attract, captivate and involve is visible to the naked eye.
When you find yourself near the Yandex office, you cannot help but notice the huge number of bicycles parked in front of the entrance. Young employees of the company lead a healthy lifestyle and prefer a bicycle to a car, appreciating its availability. Many guys rent apartments within the Garden Ring, and in the warm season they get to work without traffic jams. By the way, there are showers for bicycle lovers in the company's office, which only supports the passion for a healthy lifestyle.
In the Yandex office, as in the offices of Google or Mail.ru Group, there are many bright colors, lounges, live plants and a lot of entertainment available to employees almost around the clock. Workspaces are designed as open spaces, spacious rooms with daylight, and employees are ennobling their personal places: someone brought a favorite mug and put a photo of their younger sister on the table, someone painted a blackboard near the workplace with colorful crayons, and someone placed it opposite chairs a small statuette of Buddha, thereby creating a feeling of comfort and security, which are not the last in the hierarchy of needs of Abraham Maslow.
From barn to palace
The first office is considered to be East India House in London - in fact, a "comfortable barn" where the workers did not even have tables: only a shop, writing supplies and their own head. In the twenties of the XX century, the office "acquired" the form of a huge light hangar with rows of twin tables. They were replaced by booths that demarcated the office space of the Bürolandschaft in Germany, which the Americans instantly replicated and called the "cubicle". Today, in feature films, such an interior brings an atmosphere of oppression and despair into the lives of heroes, and at that time "cubicles" were considered a symbol of freedom. Almost like the current offices of, say, Selgas Cano (glass boxes in the forest), Inventionland Design Factory (with schooners and tree houses in the interior), White Mountain (in an artificial cave), Johnson & Johnson with a kindergarten (and they are not alone: in Japan many solve the problem of labor shortages this way), Pons & Huot with personal (!) trees for relaxation, or Zynga with a real dog playground.
Fold office pyramid
They have been able to satisfy the physiological needs of a person in office structures for a long time: here they feed, treat, protect. Although progress is evident here as well. One of the innovations of modern offices is a variety of cuisine: here there are snacks for vegetarians, and diet food, all at an affordable price for an employee. Some offices now even have the opportunity to take a nap during irregular working hours. For example, there are sleep capsules in the Google office.
The need for security is partially satisfied when a person can create his own personal space and feel comfortable in it, hence the "arrangement" of personal places.
The need for belonging can be met through experiencing oneself as a part of the company, and this is the general style of open space, and the ability to constantly see colleagues, and rallying collective activities during which employees experience positive emotions.
The need for respect is met through employee involvement in each other's personal events, birthday greetings, or through competitive activities such as a chess or ping pong tournament.
An employee can satisfy his cognitive and aesthetic needs thanks to a dance hall, an English language school or a corporate film club, in other words, by engaging in new areas that are of interest to him.
Through the satisfaction of these needs, we come to the development of personality - self-actualization.
A variety of entertainment, be it table football or a library in the meeting room, is also in the office for a reason. The employer has known for a long time that the best rest is a change of activity, but to rest you do not need to lie on the couch, you can play, sing, stand on your head or have a cup of coffee, and the work process will immediately become more fun. By the way, it is useful for everyone who works at the computer to remember that five-minute breaks should be taken every hour.
Thus, employers try to retain valuable and freedom-loving Generation Y employees by simulating attractive working conditions for them in the office and allowing them not only to move towards corporate goals, but also to satisfy personal needs. It is already clear that under the influence of young professionals in the coming years, the office culture will change beyond recognition. And what kind of world it will be, we only have to find out.
Go to work like home
An important factor in the arrangement of the office is also team building. We have a different attitude to those people with whom we not only work together, but also eat, relax or play sports. This makes it easier for employees to establish and maintain horizontal links between neighboring departments, and it is easier for subordinates to stand out and convey their ideas to leaders. Does the company benefit from this? Definitely yes. Telecommuting is bad at stimulating loyalty. And perhaps all this manipulation of improving the quality of the office is an attempt to counteract this. Especially when you consider that they began in companies where the opportunities for remote work are extremely high (IT companies, startups, etc.). And who knows, with such dynamics, the office of the future will not turn out to be exclusively virtual, and whether permanent employment will not change to a project one.
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- Maslow A. Motivation and personality
- Langle A. Reach out for life. Existential Analysis of Depression
- Fukolova Y. Igrek unknown
- Magun V. S. The structure and dynamics of labor values of the Russian population