Do you ever wonder what an office could be if it wasn’t an endless drip of mediocrity? If the same dull decor didn’t frame your Monday to Friday routine: the shared desk; the inoffensive colour scheme; the cutesy, little bits and bobs your coworkers disperse around their one to four square of personal working space. What could an office be if you weren’t chained to your desk from nine to five, looking out onto a sea of sameness? What if your dedicated workspace was more than your desk, the break room, and a meeting room three doors down? What if it could be more than a stream of interruptions you couldn’t get away from?
This time last year, we were sweeping the last of the dust away and getting ready to open our doors to our members. When we started Fosbury & Sons, we wanted to redefine what work could be. We set out to prove that work could be more than a monthly paycheque, than the food it brings to our table, than the sponsor of our basic needs and our escapism. To create a workspace that values the humanity of the people within its walls.
“It’s better to burn out than to fade away,” but I don’t think Neil Young had the kind of burning in mind our modern work culture has succumbed to.
Why do we, with all our modern day luxuries and opportunities, continue to fall prey to a rising rate of burnout? In a study from 2015, the Belgian human resource service Securex wrote that 2 out of 3 employees suffers from stress at work, an 18,5% rise from 2010. The study goes on to mention that not only has the pressure to perform and the workload grown, but the commute to work and back has become increasingly taxing. Spending more time at the office, as well as more time in traffic means we have less time for day to day errands, social activities, as well as quality time with friends and family. Which in turn places another kind of stress on us, the possible anxiety that we might be underperforming as a human being in our own life.