Happiness at work
Over the last few years I have paid a lot of attention to improving my happiness at work and it’s certainly paid off. But more interesting has been the impact on my professional activities. I work mainly in vision and strategy for a large systems integrator, my focus is on desktop services, personal productivity, PKM, application delivery and collaboration – the stuff that people spend most of the day doing. That means if I get it wrong end-users of our services are going to feel the impact for 4 or more hours a day!
For me that’s a big risk and a great opportunity! if I can improve the users experience of using these IT systems, reduce the frustration, increase the fun and engagement then I can potentially enrich the lives of around a million people, perhaps only in a small way – but it makes the effort worthwhile. One of the reasons I write this blog is to try and do the same thing but for a broader audience.
Right now life is pretty interesting with the increasing acceptance of consumerization and work life balance and integration as important issues for enterprise IT. And Web 2.0 service availability, virtualization and smart client applications are dramatically increasing end-user choice and freedom. We also have much richer immersive experiences being provided by technologies like Ajax, Windows Presentation Foundation, Silverlight and Flash as well as much more use of speech and video and early signs of more immersive gamer like work experiences, for example Microsoft Surface.
I can only see things improving as we see more people working outside the office, further integration of work and personal IT, more work/life integration, and richer IT experiences. These tech trends are combining with a workforce that is increasingly comfortable working virtually and the rapid consumerization of Telepresence like collaboration experiences will free people to work from home without the isolation.
Finally I am excited about the gradual recognition within business of the value of a happy workforce, blogs like that of the Chief Happiness Officer are showing the way and increasing number of CEO’s are evangelizing the impact that changing their culture has had on their companies success.