How simple ideas are allowing for a review of what we see as ‘normal’.
I’ve been in and out of UBER cars across three continents over the past 2 months. For both personal and professional use, I find this service to be quite an interesting one. In my own typical style once I get into an car I want to find out a little bit about the driver, what they love about their job and how they spend their time.
I have spoken to drivers who have come out of retirement to drive people around their city and have developed some ‘regular relationships’; there is the guy who starts work later on a Monday morning and uses his free time to do some airport runs from the coast if he feels up for a chat as he makes his way into the office; the one driver who ended up counselling his passenger who had recently lost his job and was lamenting over his ability to provide for his family – upon the recommendation of the Uber driver, the man signed up as a way to keep a float while he looked for other work also, and was beyond grateful for this suggestion; I met a deaf man in Chicago who was just a super cool dude and made me wish I knew more than how to say ‘thanks’ and ‘turtle’ in American sign language. I met one woman who was a driver in L.A. and loved the ability to show off her city in between her regular work gig…. all in all, an interesting crew.
What I’ve found is that there are a number of draw cards that attract drivers into the world of Uber that are totally achievable in the broader context of employers and their complex workplaces, if given a bit of thought and structure:
· Flexible work hours that suit work:home life needs
· A retirement age that is defined by the individual
· The ability to create purpose through autonomy, no micromanagement here
· Social interaction
The key points above are my own thoughts on the common threads I’ve been hearing from the drivers I’ve spoken with, it also happens that these themes are directly supported by healthy work practice theories across the board. Sitting in a recent conference on Health and Wellness in the workplace, these areas of conversation came up repetitively, with interesting ideas and examples of solutions within a multitude of employment environments. Uber provides a convenient vehicle (see what I did there?!) for demonstrating the application of new ideas to an older system and being open to what it develops into.
It’s an interesting time for employers big and small, as we see traditional pathways being challenged with new ideas. Chaos breeds creativity and at ThinkHowe we love facilitating a bit of chaos in the effort to transform old ideas into new perceptions. These ideas aren’t going away any time soon and I for one, am interested in seeing how a little chaos is able to shape some new directions in the workplace.
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