In the wake of recent events, it’s become clearer than ever that the way we work needs a revolution.
Let us explain.
Work, and the way we’ve been doing it, is the single most dominant organizing story in our lives.
It largely determines where we live, the people we interact with most, our primary social status, how much (or little) freedom we experience, and in some countries — like the U.S. — even whether we have healthcare or not.
For well over a century, the way we humans have collectively chosen to work has been driven by a set of principles that ensure a near-constant undercurrent of endless consumption and gladiator-like competition, with a single measuring stick: “Who’s got more money.”
At the feet of the false god of profit, in big and small ways, we’ve sacrificed the personal health (physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual) of untold millions of our human brothers and sisters.
To a large degree, we’ve even sacrificed the sustain-ability of the single home we all share, our planet.
But now, this short-sighted view of work has been laid bare by a genetic organism less than a micron large.
The emperor has no clothes, and we’ve all seen his nakedness.
Many of the things we thought work was made of — the commutes, the meetings, the dress codes, the strict hours, a clean separation of “business” and “life,” the endless pursuit of another dollar — have been shown to be almost entirely without real lasting value.
Furthermore, many of the roles and positions we laud with overwhelming amounts of money have been shown to be literally “worth less” than than the “lesser” jobs we insult with minuscule paychecks.
And those jobs — the ones we thought were worth less — well, it turns out they are the Essential ones: the cleaners, the teachers, the nurses, the shelf-stockers, the garbage collectors, the farmhands, the warehouse workers, and so on.
They are the ones who actually make our entire society WORK.
So today we say…
No more endless consumption.
No more absurd inequality.
No more plundering of our planet.
No more stupid workplace rules that don’t add value to our lives.
The way we work needs a complete turnaround (which of course is the literal meaning of Revolution).
And with that NO, we say YES to a new way forward.
We say yes to healthy boundaries.
Yes to work that gives us life and energy.
Yes to more autonomy, more freedom, and more transparency.
Yes to appreciating the delicate interconnectedness of our systems.
Yes to leaders that treat our planet as a true stakeholder in decisions.
Yes to organizations that welcome the fully human person to work.
On behalf of all beings, we say YES to a Work Revolution.
— Josh Allan Dykstra // April 11, 2020