Monday sucks… and it’s okay!
Ever since we’ve had the opportunity to peek inside Google’s headquarters, we had the impression it’s all about the employees and that Google is really one of the best places to work. The IT industry has been competing over who’s going to recreate “the perfect working environment” because of this trend set by Silicon Valley companies. Whether it’s the fun room with the table football, vast choice of coffee flavors, free breakfast, or a Friday happy hour after work. For those working in traditional industries, this approach to employees in the IT industry sounds almost utopistic. And, to be fair, such an approach to the working environment does sound motivating. But what happens when we look at the other side of the coin, which is barely discussed?
Naturally, when a company creates a workplace where you’re provided with everything you need to make your 9 to 5 job more interesting, you start to feel that any criticism towards such an approach would be ungrateful. It goes without saying that management expects that you should feel happy to be back in the office on Monday, after the weekend. Because, hey – you’ve got all those snacks and gadgets to keep you entertained while coping with the fact that you are still – doing your job. And here’s the problem – people tend to be humbled by the opportunity to work in such an environment, that they feel terrible – for feeling terrible on Mondays.
So, where did it go wrong?
Some of us were raised in families where work wasn’t allowed at home. Mom and dad would come from work and leave it all behind while we have dinner together after a hard-working day. Today, it’s almost impossible to detach yourself from all the obligations you have, thanks to social media, emails, and real-time-all-the-time available personnel. Most of us turn off Skype when we get home from work, but our work emails are synced on our smartphones, our LinkedIn notifications pinging.
Some companies even have mandatory teambuilding activities during the weekends, where you have to spend the entire weekend with your coworkers, rather than spending it with your partner or friends. Although team-building activities are fun and can motivate your team towards working together, where’s the fun in that when you have no other option but to have fun? It simply is not natural to pressure a certain mindset upon a group of people and expect them to react to it the same way. Some of your team members do prefer to spend time with colleagues and go rafting during the weekend. On the other hand, there are those who simply don’t enjoy it. And sometimes, they feel that their needs are neglected just because their definition of fun has some other meaning.
What’s the price for bringing together work and private life this close?
Usually, motivational posters hanging above your desk include messages about Monday being awesome, and oh, how we all just wish to go back to work, we barely lived through the weekend without any work. This unnatural environment where you’re indirectly persuaded into loving Monday more than spending an entire weekend with your friends and family can be depressing when you can’t express your true feelings. Don’t get us wrong – it’s great for companies to give choice to their employees to bring their kids to the company’s kids’ playground. But it’s a choice, which means – it works for some, for others, it doesn’t – and choices people make should be respected. That’s the reason why we say – It’s okay if Monday sucks. Coding is a creative process, despite the fact, people do it for a living. With that in mind, it’s okay if your creativity flow sometimes doesn’t work on Mondays and that’s why Mondays suck for you.
The question is – what can we do for it to suck less?
We respect our employees’ emotions and needs, and we understand that the family comes first. It’s okay to admit that you’d rather travel the world than sit at the desk and code for 8 hours. The point of working is to make a personal ecosystem where you’ll feel okay doing something you love in order to spend your free time and hard-earned money the way you want it to. If we treat our employees as part of our company’s office space and neglect their personal preferences and private life – that’s when we start making up things like – „Thank God it’s Monday“.
At BrightMarbles, we strive to create an ecosystem where our team members have a choice. Whether it’s a choice to decide if you want to work paid extra hours for the client, or not – it’s your call. If you don’t want to join for a corporate selfie on Instagram, we absolutely respect your choice to stay off social media. And it is absolutely okay if you’d rather spend Friday evening with your friends and family than go to a team-building paintball session or stay for the “office happy hour”. Choices are what builds responsibility, and responsibility is what makes the core of a good company. And that’s why we say – Monday sucks less when you work with people who understand that the free time you spend with your friends and family is super important. Monday sucks less when you can earn enough that you can take your kid out to the park or camping, away from your company’s kindergarten. Monday sucks less when you have a choice for it to suck, and for it to be great. What will it be – depends entirely on you.