What do we want from work?

Posted 23 Sep

Natalie Carfora

The responses to the coffee cup cards in Connect For have been rich and insightful. Our visitors have loved delving into “what would a supportive workplace look like for you?” with words and drawings. We are hitting close to 6000 responses since launch and the responses have been varied. They are genuine and funny, confusing and sad.

The most common responses by far usually mention teamwork, communication, and trust. These usually list of a couple of these or focus on one. People want workplaces that value them as a person, that treat them well, and where they can have a laugh during the day. It’s all pretty understandable, the bar is really quite low when it comes to what qualifies as a good workplace. 

From here, there are responses that stand out, demonstrating the other important things to people at work. 

People want flexible working arrangements— the four day week is a big one.

It’s important that people are paid equally and treated equally.

It’s also important that workplaces are diverse and inclusive. 

Sick leave, support, and understanding for mental illness and disability are important.

People are LGBTIQ+ and proud, and want to feel supported.

Some want to decolonise the workplace.

Others are proud Union members, or else they support the downfall of capitalism. 

People either love or hate their managers. They have some gentle advice for improvement, or advocate to scrap management and hierarchy altogether. 

And when it comes to colleagues, they want support and friendship. And taking time for team bonding or morale is a common request.

Unsurprisingly, the rest of these common ones surround pets at work, free food and drinks, more money, nap rooms, and office plants.

Then come the memes, the very creative dick pics, and the long list of workplaces that are called out by their employees. That last one is a great category. We’re not naming names, but there are a lot of unhappy teenagers working in fast food.

As a whole, people seem to know what they want. And by comparing it with the results on our coffee bean graph, most people seem like they’re generally happy at work. They feel supported and they have friendly people around them.

We are all looking forward to the last few months of HEDONISM and hearing further from our visitors about their feelings about work. But for now, I’ll leave you with this particularly wholesome one.

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