Jonas Altman

@sfagency

When Work is Play, Everyday is Sunday.

Change will never be this slow again. The Hyperloop One is already in beta. Computer processors that once filled entire floors now rest easily in your ear. And the world of work is being upended as its very nature and practice drastically transform.

The web, now a quarter of a century old, has afforded many in the wired world that special freedom of working in their underpants. More importantly though it has turned work into an activity of joy.We were all supposed to be able to work in our underpants remember? The web, now a quarter of a century old, has afforded many in the wired world this special freedom. For others still, it has helped turn work into a thing of joy.

So who are these auspicious folks that love what they do? And how exactly do they function? I’ve begun the wonderful journey of interviewing hundreds of people to find out.

Here are 3 themes I’ve discovered that are shared amongst those who don’t see work, as work.

Productivity Over Posturing

The office is dead. Production has always trumped presence, it’s just that in the past we needed to be at work in order do work. For many industries, this simply isn’t the case anymore. Showing up and uselessly posturing — if only to give the impression of being productive — does little for the individual or the wider organisation.

Speaking with social media darling, Cammi Pham, this is an increasingly popular view amongst her tribe:

“It used to be cool to have an office, now it’s cool to not have one.’

Indeed her best work is done in whatever environment she knows is most fitting for the particular type of work she’s doing (thinking, writing, posting, liking, schmoozing, you get the idea). She works best on the fly and in environments that suit her given mood.

While bricks and mortar offices of yesteryear play catch up, progressive organisations have attracted top-tier talent by ceasing their tired ways and tearing down their antiquated walls. In its place, they offer up a nourishing environment premised around function.

This new elite, dubbed Fluxers, are leading the way for a world of work where it’s not where you are, but what you’re doing.

Relentless Focus on Doing One Thing Well

I’m a huge proponent of lifelong learning. Trying new things out (even when you remain pretty crap at it) is what feeds curiosity and growth. It’s rather shocking though how many people continue to carry out specific activities in work that they just aren’t that great at (whether by choice or necessity). Indeed in the public sector this is amplified, where incompetency seems ubiquitous.

Learning to spend the most amount of time doing what you do well is the mark of difference between being good, and being remarkable.

Take Jeff Wasiluk. He helps social business tell powerful stories on the web. Jeff does so with fervour and authenticity. He spends the majority of his time doing what he does well (thinking, writing, storyboarding and collaborating with others to tell stories). He feverishly works to refine his craft every day — not so much so he can stay relevant but because he loves what he does.

The simple recipe then is to become acutely aware of what you excel at in work, and spend as much time as you can doing this. The assumption is that you also take great pleasure in performing this kind of work and posses the know how to surround yourself with high performers that compliment your unique talent (aka they are great in areas that you are shit).

Debunking the myth of deliberative practice means spending more quality time doing what you do well — so that you become an absolute ninja in your given domain.

Working Sundays is the Best

For many, Sundays are all about unplugging. The long pub lunch or the big game — really absolutely anything that requires minimal brain power and certainly not work.

This sacred day though is actually when the types of folks I’ve been speaking with to do some of their deepest work; strategising, catching up on reading, writing and seemingly getting ahead of the week.

For culture maven Khairi Mdnor, of RECESS, Sundays provide him the ultimate space for play and labour (aka Playbour). Bringing together creative people in a fun and engaging environment is something he was meant to do. It may sound dreamy but for Khairi everyday is Sunday. But not to be fooled what appears as effortless to the outsider actually entails months of logistics, planning, marketing and more.

This modern form pleasurable production has typically been reserved to the creative, sports and entertainment worlds. And as it now spreads rampantly like hotcakes to other industries — those who get a taste of it are likely to never go back.

Thanks for tapping the 💚 below and spreading love.

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