Energy is at the core for everything. And, scientists had proven already it can neither be created or destroyed. We can simply make it change forms. And, that is the core principle we see in almost everything we’ve developed.
People distinguish energy into mainly two categories, positive energy and negative energy.
To keep positive energy at its best people uses various ways including the use of scientific and mythological stuff. Home and the workplace are the two most important places where we spend remarkable amount of time, so having a positive energy is considered as the primary requirement, or rather we can say, a passion for many of us. That leads to the popularity of Vastu-Shastra, Feng-Shui and many other similar stuff.
However, the days are gone when just the building construction was the time when these things are taken care, nowadays, we don’t have the luxury of having big compounds, playground, garden and other stuff. Having office spaces in metro is like a dream. Some people used to share offices with other fellows and some used to visit caffe-coffee-day or starbucks to visit it and do their office work there. So, the most we can do is, work on the interior in a way that we can get a (mostly) perfect environment to work for ourselves, our team and our clients.
Why we are talking about work, workers and workspaces, and their changing nature? Well, we came to know about a book named The radically changing nature of Work, Workers & Workplaces by author Parthajeet Sharma. The author introduced us to the book and presented a copy to share our views about the same. So, here are our unbiased, uninfluenced and genuine views and reviews for the same.
The radically changing nature of Work, Workers & Workplaces
Tagline: Using space as a starting point for innovation
Becomeshakespeare.com; Published: (24 May 2018),
Wordit CDE; Published: (18 June 2018)
|# of Pages||:||
844 KB 83 (Kindle EBook)
Let us take a look at the book cover.
Never judge a book from its cover; how many times have you heard this sentence? And, still a majority of us know that the book cover plays a significant role in making the first impression of the book. It is like how our cloths, tidy hair, polished shoes and clean faces makes our first impression. The content of the book, like the nature of the person; can be known only after spending quality and quantity time with it :). As the book talks about the changing face of office spaces and work environment; a person while spending his holidays at a beach, working on his laptop represents the content of the book quite effectively. At the same time, the cover page is simple and may not catch you attention on very first glance, it rather looks like a introductory page of a white paper.
We, usually frame our book review in two segments where we talk about the book plot (or storyline) in one and share our views and reviews in the other; based on the nature of this book, we’ve decided to keep this article in a single flow, though. I got a chance to read and review this book from our team, and thus the views and reviews are my personal.
The book is distributed into 3 main segments and total 25 small chapters. As the whole book is very small, you can understand that the chapters cannot be very long at this count.
The author, have worked extensively with various companies and was part of designing offices for various small, medium and large companies. And, of course, whenever he visits office of a friend, he used to notice the use of space, technology and other aspects to enrich his knowledge. The author doesn’t shy away in sharing such experiences, and it makes the book more authentic.
It starts with the idea of Using space as a starting point for innovation. Then goes ahead in sharing various paradigms of the same. The author mentions that
A paradigm shift does not occur in isolation and influences society as a whole.
Being a management professional and reading many books on the topic, he talks about various analytical techniques like “Candle problem experiment”.
The IT (Information and Technology) industry had seen the most innovative changes in work environment and other aspects. Because, most of the work here is done digitally, and thus, the requirement to be available in the office physically, with the customer/client doesn’t arise. The rise of outsourcing is possible due to this nature of work only. And, if and when needed, one can do a video-conferencing and/or use other tools for screen sharing and online meetings to fulfil the need. And, of course, one can visit the office/client space if/when required. But, on the whole, traditional way of working is changed.
In past, we’ve shared our views about “working from home employees”, which you can read at:
But, these changes are felt mainly by the employees, employer and some of the clients only. When we are looking from general public’s perspective, the most significant change we can see, is in the banking sector. Gone are the days when we needed to visit the branch of the bank physically for every small thing related to banking, including but not limited to deposit and withdrawal of money. The attitude of bank managers and even bank employees was nothing less than of royal authorities. The things are changed (for the good) quite a lot. Now, with the availability of Debit/Credit cards, ATM, Point-of-sales and services, mobile banking, Internet banking and other aspects; now a person needs to visit the branch of the bank very rarely. So, if this change affects the life of a large number of people, how can the book miss it. There is a small chapter written about it.
Such tools and gadgets and rise of use of the leads to controversies talking about “machines are going to make real people jobless” and other such stuff. The author advocates otherwise:
The question is not about job loss, but about certain activities within a job being taken over by machines; and robots are going to take away jobs from us, especially with the rise of Artificial Intelligence.
The skills required from such a job are those, which cannot be performed by machines; i.e. essentially human skills requiring empathy.
And then, the author reminds of an incident happened in the past.
In nineteenth century, the Luddites, a group of English textile workers and weavers, destroyed weaving machinery as a form of protest!
And, today when we look at that, we know that, there is no such thing that weaving machinery made people job-less. It helped production and other aspects and people learnt new skills. Same we can say about the rise of vehicles. The author talks about such incidents to prove his point effectively.
If you love to read latest news about various companies, and the worker-friendly environment they provide, you might have heard that some companies do provide paying area, gymnasiums and even nap-rooms. The author goes a step ahead and mentions
“Play” however, is not to be read as an activity; “play” in this context is a mindset. Putting basketball rings and a TT table in a workplace is meaningless if the management approach is one of the strict control.
The author also presents a study about the nature, and how natural environment help people to perform better.
Poor air quality is the reason behind a feeling of drowsiness that strikes us sometimes, all of a sudden.
When we are in a closed room where air-conditioner is humming cool air inside, it keeps rotating the same air, which eventually gets polluted our breathe and other aspects. The unclean air leads to drowsiness! And, clean air and more flow of oxygen pumps the brain to perform better.
Nature can have a very positive impact on the quality of work at the workplace.
. The author also explains that how the exercise increases our intake of oxygen, and thus useful for healthy and effective work environment.
Talking about a workspaces leads to a discussion about the working environment. Some prefer it to be silent work-environment and other will like it be cheerful. The author summarzies that it is different for different people based on the work they are doing.
… the world is changed and it was no more about “doing the things right” only, but also about “doing the right things”. Skills, which are purely human, began to matter. Feelings began to matter…
Creativity for a designer is quite different from creativity for an accountant; one size does not fit all.
I like the way the author has explained the sitting arrangement on a table, and why the head of the family is sitting at the small side of the table where his eyes are at the door, and how the females used to sit in opposite way.
It is interesting to note how modern day behavior is shaped by ancestral inheritance…
The book, despite looking written as the white paper for his company and marketing brochure about their services; has the ability to keep the reader interested in reading the same. The way he shares his experience of visiting a friend’s office where they needed to book a conference room for their meeting; and how the limited time-slot made them at unease. It is something I suggest you to read. It will make you understand that just good intention and use of latest technology is not always the best.
The new workplace is one where the physical and the digital merge.
So, the companies (smaller or larger) needs to understand that:
When the vision and the worksplace are in sync, the workplace becomes a physical manifestation of the core of the organization.
The page quality of the book is really good and the cover page is durable.
The book is for the target readers only. If you are looking for some professional analysis about workplaces and working environment then this book has a substance. And you can go for it once. The readers loving fantasy fictions, thrillers and other genre may not find it very interesting.
A little pricey, small book that contains summarized analysis of changing nature of work which talks about many things but doesn’t bring you to a conclusion, it rather makes it open end, to suit individual’s need. You can read it if you have interest in such serious reading and you can read with open mind by paying attention to it.
Around 7 stars out of 10 for the target readers.
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