A couple of years ago, a friend spied a stack of Wired magazines on my table. “If I find out that you read Wired, it will completely change my view of you.” I’m still trying to figure that one out. I do enjoy Wired‘s mix of gadgets, current events, and geeky fun; the cover of the July 2015 issue promises a wealth of fun tips to improve one’s work life.
Perhaps I should delete “work” and simply say, “…tips to improve one’s life,” because as Editor-in-Chief Scott Dadich says in his introductory letter, “It turns out for me, and for a lot of us, the idea of a work-life balance has become a false choice. It’s all merged together now…our lives on and off the job are warp and weft in the same fabric.” As a work-at-home freelance writer, this rings incredibly true. It’s so hard to distinguish my “work” from my “life” that many people may not describe me as having “work.” Yet in the last few days, I’ve exchanged e-mails with an editor about an essay I’m revising for her publication, I’ve e-mailed a resume, I’ve requested interviews, I’ve groaned over a rejected essay, and I’m writing this post, all while on vacation. But the main point of the “Wired at Work” section is that work can be something you enjoy. The fact is, I could say, “I’m not going to do any work while on vacation,” but I don’t want to say that. I like my job, so much that I’m always looking for more of it (My mother-in-law just said to me, as I’m typing, “Jennie, you look so relaxed.” The mix must be working for me).
Enjoying Your Work Life with Wired Magazine
Here are the high and low points of the 11 page special section, “Wired at Work:”
“The Joy of Work” by Rashida Jones
Almost every line here had something for me. Much of the article talks about technology (phones, computers) and how its potential usefulness is almost completely eclipsed by its power to distract. Amen to that; I think the way we use tech now is a big reason that work and other aspects of life are all blended together. It’s just so easy to work a little, play a little.
The other words I really treasure are about failure, culminating in “The most intelligent, most talented people in the world have bad ideas. That’s a good thing to learn.” It may have taken me 30 years to not let failure totally devastate me, but I’m finally getting there. It’s an incredible thing to learn that failure can be a blessing.
Optimize Your Space
I enjoyed a detailed look at two work spaces, Michelle Morrison’s of Square (neat) and Dannel Juardo’s (crowded) of Etsy. I use both Square and Etsy, which added interest, but I have a bit of a workspace obsession anyway. You should see my Pinterest boards! Which space did I prefer? Hmmm…I think I prefer my own. Morrison’s desk seemed a little boring and Juardo’s looked like mine might after my kids had deposited several toys on it.
Upgrade Your Tools
Though I always like a good gear round-up, this one failed to present anything really amazing. I couldn’t work up any covetousness at all except for a faint flicker for a pretty pair of headphones too expensive to use within 50 miles of my children or, honestly, myself.
Master Your Relationships
Did you know there’s such a thing as an “office bot” through which you can be “telepresent” in an office without really being there? Think Skype-connected tablet mounted on a mini Segway. It’s absolutely as creepy yet silly as it sounds. I’m glad I am unlikely to need one. I question anyone actually needing one. At least the entertainment value of reading about it is fairly high.
A chart on “Work Spouses” vs. “Work Crushes” annoyed and confused me. I thought I knew where they were taking it, and I understand the “spouse”–someone who is committed and invested in projects with you and that you like and get along with. The “crush” just seemed like a crush, and that just sounds like unhelpful torture from my perspective.
On the whole, this special section on work specialized in trivialities over anything actually helpful, aside from the Rashida Jones article. I like how Wired presents information with tongue-in-cheek humour or just plain silliness, but there might have been a little too much of that here; however, on the whole it was a fun read, with plenty of funny charts and snippets of news and information.
Have you read this issue? What do you think it takes to really enjoy your work? Social interaction? A tidy desk? Tech gadgets? Weigh in below in the comments section!