- Daniel Pink's blog- A writer, writing about changing the world of work
- Seth Godin's blog- A marketer who writes about leadership, change, and much more
- Gina Trapani's Work Smart- A blog about technology and productivity at work
Around 5:30PM, five days a week, year after year, my Dad and I had this conversation:
Me: (enthusiastic) "Hi Dad!"
Dad: (flat) "hi"
Me: (eager) "How was your day?"
Dad: (sarcasm) "What do you think?..."
Dad: (irritated) "I had to go to work"
Me: (deflated) "oh"
Playing this dialogue on repeat for several years has shaped my attitudes about work. Around age twelve, I made a promise to myself, a promise to never come home from work feeling how I imagined my dad felt.
Today I was reminded of my promise as I watched this video
This video re-affirms what my blog is all about. It's about my promise. I believe there doesn't need to be a choice between playing around or getting paid. We can have our cake and eat it too! or as they say at school (BGI), "yes, and.."
Work can be a fun, rewarding, and positive experience where work gets done and done well. This can be achieved without compromising the health of the workplace or the worker. There is a win-win for employees and employers. From what I hear, places like Google, Adobe, and several others have got this figured out.
So, what's the secret sauce? I'm interested in the impacts of management, paid time off, engagement, culture, benefits, etc. How do these policies and practices impact productivity?
In support of Blog Action Day this inaugural post will explore bottled water at work.
As an American I enjoy access to safe drinking water at home, at work, and most everywhere I go. On a global scale we are privileged. Many do not enjoy this basic human right. Despite this privilege, we spend billions on bottled water, which is often just re-packaged tap water. These bottles fill our landfills, litter our communities, and leach chemicals into our bodies while being sold to us at a huge mark-up. Some institutions and corporations are standing up to bottled water; contributing to social and environmental change that employees can be proud of.
San Francisco's mayor declared a ban on purchases of bottled water for employees, then Seattle's mayor did the same. Now several cities across the US have initiatives to promote tap water. Universities like UC Berkley and Seattle University have banned bottled water on campus. Large employers in the Oakland-Berkley areas, like CH2MHill and Clorox, have began encouraging use of tap water and have stopped providing bottled water for company meetings and events. Cities, universities, and company's are all employers who have employees effected by these decisions. What's your company's stance on bottled water?
Admittedly, I don't like being told what to do and I can see how a ban on purchasing bottled water could be annoying. Yet, there's something redeeming about this idea. Tap water is healthier for me, my co-workers, my community, the global community, and the environment. It also happens to be significantly less expensive than bottled water. I like when my company is smart about their finances. I like when my company takes a stance that encourages me to do something not for myself or for the company, but for something larger. More selfishly, cutting the cost of bottled water makes sense and doesn't inconvenience me.
As someone who's long avoided bottled water, its sometimes hard to remember why the stuff is so popular. I think it comes down to convenience, ease, and the fact that it's everywhere. With bottled water at work, you don't have to find a cup or clean the dirty one from your desk. Yet it doesn't take much effort to switch, especially if your friends are doing it too.
Generally people want to be a part of something bigger than themselves. I've had co-workers start their own initiatives like the "mug club" to encourage re-usable dishes at work. I love how these type of ideas bring us together with the happy side-effect of a more sustainable workplace. I'm also pretty sure these bottom-up initiatives inspire employee engagement, increase productivity, and improve retention rates. But these are topics for another day...
For more information on the impacts of bottled water, check out the documentary Tapped or the Story of Bottled Water.