What You See is What You Get

By Julie Yates, Director-Learning & Development

The future of work has been a hot topic lately in news publications, podcasts, and training programs. In fact, one of Catapult’s recent blogs was specifically about the future of work and the impact millennials are making on work – what we do, how we do it, and who does it.

And as I sit here today writing this blog, I look around me and think about the work environment and culture in which I work. To give you some background, I come from a 30+ career in corporate working for several large organizations. You know… multi-level hierarchies, an abundance of rules and policies, managers who are not prepared for leadership, little empowerment to make decisions, and the dreaded cubicle farms. Did you now that according to Jacob Morgan, a Future of Work expert, the name “cubicle” comes from the Latin word Cubiculum, which means “bed chamber.” (If that doesn’t put you to sleep, I don’t know what will.)

Two years ago, I was lucky enough to have an opportunity to work for a much smaller, different kind of organization, but leaving the presumed security of a corporate environment was a little scary at first. I didn’t know how easy it would be for me to adapt to anything other than what I’ve known for so many years in a corporate setting. But I anxiously accepted that opportunity and joined Catapult, my current employer. When I first walked into my new work location, I thought I was in the wrong place. There were literally no cubicals or offices. I was standing in a large open space with music playing, a fireplace, and beautiful décor. I couldn’t have imagined working in this new space – it felt more like a comfortable living room than an office.

Looking back, I’ve realized how I’ve thrived at Catapult not only because of the physical working environment, but equally as important, by the leadership as well. For the first time in 30 years, I haven’t had a traditional performance review. Instead, my leaders frequently check in with me to see if I am enjoying what I am working on, asking what I would also like to be involved in, and what I need more of/less of/same of from them. Our conversations are always casual, yet engaging, and they are about us – the team – not just me.

My co-worker and I are always involved in what most people would consider key leadership decisions. Our entire team makes the tough decisions together and determines our organizational strategy by mapping out our growth and plan for our future. You see, being treated as an equal member of the team by leadership is probably one of the biggest, most welcomed changes I have encountered here at Catapult. It is something very different from my prior roles in corporate.

But there’s more! The culture of my new organization was immensely different from my previous experiences as well. Today, I am trusted and empowered to do what I need to do in order to be effective at my job and be ‘whole’ at the same time. No questions asked.

Yes, I am experiencing the future of work firsthand. Gone are the days of sitting in a 6’ x 6’cubical for eight hours a day. No more learning about decisions that impact me and my work through a memo after the fact. No more feeling like just another employee. Gone, and happier now more than ever!

So I ask you…does your work environment energize you, provoke creativity, and engage you? Does the environment in which you work impact ‘how’ you work? Does your organization’s leadership value you and really want your input in key decisions? Does your organization’s culture support your well being and performance? How is your employer adapting to the future of work?

Catapult can help your organization achieve greater business performance by adapting now to the future of work. Contact us at 716-256-1550 or www.catapultsuccess.com.

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