How we fell out of love with work


Johanna Thomas-Corr (The New Statesman, 3 marzo 2022)

From the virtual office to the “Great Resignation”, the pandemic has transformed our attitudes to making a living.


There’s something telling about the defining political scandal of the moment being centred on office parties. Not sexed-up dossiers or state secrets. But wine fridges, email invites and Abba singalongs. The Downing Street drama not only confirms long-held doubts about our Prime Minister, but about the nature of the 21st-century workplace, with its uncomfortable elisions of work and play, business and friendship. Boris Johnson’s office is not the only one with a toxic culture flowing from the top, an inscrutable command structure, physical premises woefully ill-suited to its purpose, an expectation that workers are not just doing it for the money but also, to some extent, the Colin the Caterpillar cakes, and a boss happy to blame underlings when things go wrong. If No 10 is our nation’s pre-eminent workplace, what does that say about the way we work?


The workplace has long been a source of fascination and horror (as well as comedy), from Ricky Gervais’s sitcom The Office and Joshua Ferris’s novel And Then We Came to the End to the sclerotic boardrooms of Succession and the grinding purposelessness described in the late David Graeber’s polemic, Bullshit Jobs…


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How we fell out of love with work