I think I had lost my voice. There was a flurry of activity going on inside my brain, a rush of movement in my body; I was a mass of hyperactivity, with no outlet. It was like that dream that every human being must have had-the one where you want to scream but when you open your mouth nothing come out-and each one remembers as the most frustrating moment of fear. It’s a known fact that all work and no play makes jack a dull boy, but this needs to be re-thought, where all work and no play drives jack/jill/tom/mary/jane to a point of sheer insanity.
In a study I came across a few days ago, lack of social contact, lack of intellectual sharing, lack of verbal discourse, are all causes of early brain degeneration. These are proven facts, but why are they not known to the business world at large? Why aren’t heads of companies, aside from being trained in corporate governance, also educated in playful activities where horror-of-horrors (gasp!) no company related work is done, no boxes are checked, no claustrophobic repetitions of company policy are made, and where the mind, the body and the senses are indulged in spa therapy.
Imagine a thin, waspy looking financial accountant, who instead of going about spying on all employees during his free time, actually indulges his secret desire to be an impressionist painter. A company who gives all employees an hour off to not sit at their computers, not talk about work, and not do anything which will achieve something substantial. I realize I am going off on a tangent here, but really I am constantly reminded of how I am one of the fortunate ones. I don’t HAVE to do anything I don’t want to. I work for myself which means no one can tell me I HAVE to sit at work till 7 just to twiddle my thumbs and make the company happy. I don’t need to explain my reasons for taking the day off just to doodle, draw, read, watch a movie, hang out with friends. If someone doesn’t understand that all this makes for a more creative me I don’t need to go blue in the face convincing them.
Yesterday I met the head of a department who works for one of the largest pharma concerns in the country. This person after completely depressing me with the aura, went on to proclaim, in one breath might I add, that as a company they ‘value innovation and creativity above everything else…and that the deciding factor for choosing a designer is cost-effectiveness.’ Like I said in the beginning, I think I lost my voice.