As society changes and workplaces adjust, things that were considered acceptable not that long ago can quickly fall out of favour, or be considered inappropriate. Similarly, terminology and words that were part of our everyday vocabulary now have little meaning or relevance.
“Taping” a TV show is now an incorrect term. We “record” or simply catch-up via the internet. When was the last time you bought a postcard? Do young people of today even understand the concept of buying a picture while on holidays and posting it by snail mail? Is the term “postcard view” obsolete?
In previous generations, there was value attached to hard work, uncompromising commitment and the school of hard knocks. People accepted that to get somewhere in life, “blood, sweat and tears” were non-negotiable consequences. But this is no longer the case.
Let’s look at the term “blood”. The uncompromising commitment to work is no longer accepted in the workplace as appropriate. Due to a greater (and better) balance of responsibilities between life partners in the household and in the parenting of children, the value attached to a differing work life balance has dramatically changed.
The staid and structured work environment has also changed significantly, along with formality. Now we expect flexibility within a casual environment. We want to enjoy work, not bleed.
“Blood” has been replaced by “Fun”.
Hard work used to be directly related to success. It was respected, admired and rewarded in the workplace. In some ways, it is now frowned upon. There is often pity bestowed on the hardworking individual for not having a life outside of work.
Technology has taken over. It’s not about working harder. It’s about working smarter. “Sweat” has been replaced by “Tech”.
And the final change that has occurred lies within the expectation of tears at some point along the journey. Where previously motivation was sourced through the desire to avoid humiliation, or to avoid a berating from a work colleague, we now live in the uncertainty of factors outside the workplace.
The workplace has become a protected zone and in its place, external factors are at play. We now face constant concern that things are moving too fast. Disruption is at the forefront of our minds; information overload provides us with too much irrelevance and distracts us from what should be our focus.
We don’t shed “tears”in the workplace anymore, we live in the “fear” that our jobs may be extinct in the near future.
So, is society and the workplace better for these changes? Of course, it is. The challenge lies in how we adjust to these changes. In some instances, changes need no thought. It’s easy to stop buying postcards. Other changes need conscious consideration and adaption.