Feature photo: Heilbronn City Library

The nice thing about my current living situation is that I can decide for myself whether, when and how I want to work. And the best part is, once I realize that this work isn't productive and not the least bit fun, I'm the only one I can blame for it. Then I immediately lose my patience and I dismiss myself and this without notice! — I should have allowed myself that decades ago.

But this has a very nice side effect, because those who know about this fact try not only to constantly keep an eye on the "fun factor", but also do everything they can to not lose sight of the previously jointly set goals lose.

The only problem with this is that afterwards you might even take the reward for the work done with a bit of a guilty conscience, after all we've been hammered into it for decades that work shouldn't be fun - at least not real work. That's why I'm also glad that I mostly served in my job and didn't work - so I could always allow myself not to lose sight of the fun factor, even in the most unreal situations. And when something like that wasn't possible at all, it was immensely reassuring to know that there are actually people who see work as a compulsion and as something unpleasant all their lives.

I can also say that it was very pleasant that I was able to spend my entire professional life in jobs that each had at least something adventurous about them. And when, due to my age, I was also allowed to get to know the office floors, these were already associated with virtuality and very flexible mobility and were therefore again an adventure in themselves. So I could never complain and already in the 1990s I had all the job experiences that people today face with such challenges that are nice to look at. And for many of us, Powerpoint presentations and video chats were already a completely outdated thing in the noughties, which brings tears to my eyes with today's performances. Only when a fresh university graduate advises me to improve my own presentations with Powerpoint does my spook go away. But I know from a professor friend of mine that something like this is actually still taught, at least at universities — certainly by those who only recently photographed their overhead projector slides and are now presenting the amazed students with a slide show.

But in the meantime, working environments such as coworking spaces and home office are slowly becoming mainstream, which in the noughties were simply part of a pleasant working environment, but unfortunately could not yet come up with such great names. Perhaps contemporary things will only catch on with us if they also have a sexy name.

I like to think back to the 1990s, when I summarized my work results while driving on a Nokia Communicator, sent it by e-mail or fax depending on the configuration of my remote station, my boss, if he wanted it nice, commissioned a secretary to do it , and when I got back to the office I only had to put my signature under it. And even then, Powerpoint presentations only showed the essentials and if there were pictures, then a few naked people who could be seen for a second or two just to get the audience's attention.

But enough of the good old days. I now have my own home office — all to myself — and because I was able to marvel at a number of workplaces via video conference during COVID-19 and was particularly impressed by the equipment of Detlef Sterns place of work, also wanted to treat myself to a bit of luxury, provided it with the right equipment for me.

In addition to a proper and comfortable office chair, I have an even more comfortable bed, right next to a desk with plenty of space. The desk has a large computer screen that is good for research as well as for watching TV. I have my own computer for work and for the obligatory video conferences, and if that doesn't work with the virtual operating systems, I have another computer with a Windows operating system. And the really only new thing — which works very well, by the way — are the virtual offices in the metaverse, which are also becoming more and more attractive.

The only thing my home office is missing now is a very specific espresso machine and a mini fridge, although I haven't decided on this yet.

For this I can continue to fall back on the tried and tested concepts of mobile work, which, interestingly, can still very well do without overpriced and inefficient coworking spaces. Airports are still ideal for the first get-together, and later use very well-equipped workplaces in public libraries. And for further discussions, nice hotel lobbies are still the best choice.

And the only thing that has really changed over the decades is that you can now show library cards instead of the usual coins.

Ultimately, however, the status symbols of far oversized corporate headquarters will continue to assert themselves, since it still and exclusively depends on how much money one puts in the sand. And one likes to be measured by the amount of these amounts. You can see that very well at the Googleplex, the Apple Park, the Amazon headquarters or the many other new company headquarters that bring together as many employees as possible in one place — including here in Heilbronn and the surrounding area.

"Work that is pure toil, done solely for the sake of the money it earns, is also sheer drudgery because it is stultifying rather than self improving."

Mortimer Adler, A Vision of the Future: Twelve Ideas for a Better Life and a Better Society (1984)
You can support this weblog on Patreon!

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published.