Why workplaces provide more than pay to many of us.

24 Jan

What have you done today to make someone else feel good about themselves? Today was spent with patients in a local mental health hospital. It was a wonderful experience and very grounding to understand that sometimes what is most important in our lives is the feeling that we are cared for and we matter. The content of what we talked about today fell into the background in comparison to the feeling we experience from meeting up with other people in a non judgemental environment, communicating and being part of a mini community for a while.

Loneliness is the biggest problem in todays society. We may feel that it is a god send to be technologically connected but in truth we are emotionally very disconnected if we do not experience human interaction. We in truth don’t want self service checkouts at our supermarket. We long for a social interaction with the person we are purchasing our products from. We rarely receive this. The day of visiting a shop to purchase an item and also getting the news of births deaths and marriages within the town has slipped in larger urban areas. This has been clinically removed in our shopping experience as a time versus money argument and money always wins out.

Now more than ever we need to look out for each other. The workplace is as important a place as any where. I remember a company I worked for had an employee that had worked for the company all her life. She was 65 now and had worked for the same company for 50 years. She retired on a Friday with gifts from her friends and a shake of the hand from the HR manager. The following Monday morning she turned up for work as she usually did for the past 50 years. Not because she loved her job more than anything but because she lived alone and work was more than a place to be employed and get paid. It was somewhere to escape the loneliness of home. She returned each morning for the next week…

That it is vital that we make the places that we work a place were people feel connected, happy and accepted. We never know how important it is to the person sitting near us in the office.

We still need to ask that question each day. What have you done to make someone feel good about themselves today?

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