We have noticed that almost all organisations these days are called businesses, even those which are essentially services, such as the NHS. In the process of preparing a new book, I have explored the meaning of the different words we use to describe workplaces. This prompted me to look up the word ‘company’, and remind myself that originally it meant somewhere where people broke bread together.
Oh dear! Lots of people don’t even break bread together at home, let alone at work!
The very concept of breaking bread together brings up such a positive image: people eating together, talking together, knowing each other, discussing things that matter in a calm and pleasant atmosphere. Can you imagine what a difference it would make to what goes on at work, if that was part of the daily rituals there?
Instead we have businesses, where people are all too busy doing their never-ending to-do lists to be able to raise their heads and smile at each other, let alone eat together! It is such a loss to our personal well-being and that of the places we work in. Without the simple human contact, we lose touch with what it is all really about – making a positive difference, creating something together that we can be proud of, making enough profit or spare to be able to keep going, delighting our customers – some of those things that are obvious when we have time to stop and reflect..
So this month, why not decide to change from the busy daily rituals, at least once in a while:
- Smile and say hello to your companions in the company
- Eat with some of them once in a while
- Discuss what really matters to the long-term survival of your company, rather than just how you will meet this month’s targets
This not pie in the sky, so to speak! It is humans who make up the major component of a business, and being human is the most important thing they bring to that company – if this were not true, everything would by now be done by computers! So bring your humanness to work this month, and enjoy the fact that you work with other humans – give your business a little bit of company!