The workplace? Nah, we need the lifeplace.

Too often I hear people complaining about the workplace or chattering
about the differences between the workplace and the home. Many people
seem to enjoy making tremendous separations between Work and Play.

Wrong, wrong, wrong.

See, life’s about three key concepts – Production, Play, and Provision.
All three are necessary for all aspects of life, and cutting one out of
any part of it makes life less fun, less whole.

Production. The art of giving something back to society. If you want
your life to mean something, you produce. Writers write, engineers
engineer, and artists….art? If you spend a good deal of your life
dedicated to one thing, you will become good at that one thing. People
who are happy with their jobs almost always have combined their favorite
productive activity into their working life.

Play. The art of doing something just for the hell of it, with no
obvious return. While this doesn’t directly create New and Better Stuff
for society, it improves you and those around you as a person. It’s a
social activity. While Me Time has its place and is necessary for mental
health, playing with others is a vital aspect of a healthy society and
can really be refreshing for the mind, body, and soul. From a working
standpoint, it encourages teamwork, communication, and energy, all very
important concepts for Good Workers.

Provision. The art of keeping oneself and one’s dear ones alive and
happy. Feeding yourself and your kids (if you have them) is only part of
the equation. In your working life, the ideal worker is one who cares
about his colleagues, his projects, and yes, even his managers. Japan
partially got this right in the Old Days before the bubble economy and
after the Occupation, where every employee of a company was a member of a “family” of sorts. Caring employees are happy, more productive, and
more fun to be around.

Think about it. In the perfect job, you’d have fun, have a recurring
sense of accomplishment, and be a proud member of The Team, right?
Everyone else would think the same too. This is much easier to do with
startups, ala Silicon Valley, than it is with larger established
companies, but it’s still possible. Be proactive, and set up the
change. You don’t have to fight management to make this happen.

Make it all part of your life, who you are, who you will be. Change your
workplace into a lifeplace, something that you are happy to include as
part of your existence on this Earth. You’ll find that everyone is
happier, is more productive, and generally better people when it
happens.