Do You Work Alone Everyday? Fight for the Users.

It’s not enough just to fight for the results, work alone is worth fighting for. Because you are worth fighting for.

“We don’t need to meet, just email me.”

Our increasing reliance on digital solutions has reduced much need for human interaction. We say (or write) stuff like, “we don’t need to meet, just email me,” “just click here to submit this form,” etc. We do this so much, that we can go through a whole work day without really interacting with anyone. This can be great if we’re pursuing heightened focus and productivity. But over time, we begin to feel lonely, we long to connect with people. 

I’ve been feeling lonely lately, I’ve been longing to connect with people. 

I know how that sounds, but bear with me a moment. Don’t you feel the same way too? Statistically speaking, the chances of that are on the rise. The human workforce is increasingly becoming digital and remote. (I was discussing this with my Dad recently – he’s been working remotely for the past 17 years, I’ve been doing it for 8 years.) 

The cost of productivity

Now, I can be the #1 culprit of eschewing social interaction in the interest of getting more things done. But it doesn’t change the fact that I’ve traded something for that productivity. Have you as well?

What is it we’ve traded?

  • Daily interaction. The chance to see and talk with people every work day. Sure, water cooler conversations can be distracting. But we were created to interact socially at least a little bit throughout the day. You can even hold each other accountable to being more productive.
  • Weekly connection. Sure, meetings are a waste of time. We’ve heard it before. But not all. You need to dig in to the process and look at what’s going on with your work. And you need other people to do this with you to provide valuable perspective. I’ve found that the best rhythm for this is the rhythm that work already follows – the weekly rhythm. A good weekly meeting to review your work with someone is not only important, it’s something we long for.

Fight for the Users

In the 1982 film Tron, the protagonist is found in a world ruled by cruel and calculating programs. A world optimized for the sole purpose of more production, a better-working machine. In the film, “users” – people who aren’t the programs but operate them – get sucked in to this world. And then Tron comes to defend and liberate the users. We’re the users. And users’ lives are miserable in the world of Tron, because the programs are cruel masters.

Are we slaves to the programs? Be it our own work rituals? Be it our own productivity? If so, who will fight for the users?

Try to make steps today to encourage daily interaction and weekly connection. Try to add a little more life to your world. Fight for the user that is yourself.

Is there any way you’re fighting for daily interaction and weekly connection? Let me know in the comments below!