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“Doesn’t it drive you crazy to think so many people are not engaged in their work? I mean we spend more time working than sleeping in our lifetime, we have one life and so many people are spending a huge amount of it miserable.”

The words of Lisa Whited, author of Work Better. Save The Planet, and my recent guest on Inside Ideas.

Whited points to a damning Gallup statistic to highlight the extent of disengagement people have with their work.

“Gallup has been measuring people’s engagement with work for more than 20 years and the statistic has barely wavered, from 87% globally being disengaged in their work, to 80%, the needle has hardly moved,” she says. 

It is a general malaise she says has implications far outside the workplace.

“It’s not just about the work you do but it is how does that make you feel when you come home to your family? What’s the impact on your partner or the kids if you are not really feeling engaged? And then how does that ripple effect into your neighbourhood, your community?”

In her book Whited says the antidote is to make work a source of renewal.

“Can you imagine leaving work and feeling awesome because you had such a great experience, your interactions with your colleagues, you felt like you were of service, you made a difference, you were working with your strengths – I mean wow. Instead of depletion you get renewal.”

For this to happen Whited calls for an end to a ‘one-size-fits-all approach’ to work, and for models that are more flexible and aligned with the needs of people to become the focus.

“You give people what they need, give them the space, the materials, the equipment – what they need – and then let them configure to how it best supports their way of working.”

The impact of Covid has changed the working day for millions, triggering a major transformation, one this book can help define.

Catch up with my full podcast with the author for more from the pages of Work Better. Save The Planet.

The post Weekend reads first appeared on Innovators magazine.

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