As we begin to adjust to normal life in the year 1 AC (after COVID), we’re all just trying to get our footing and figure out how to navigate this new world we’re emerging into.
And for many founders, professionals, and employees, adjusting to it all has called into question a whole ton of work-related things that we used to just take as gospel.
So, the big thing on many of our minds has now become…
What do you want from your job now that the entire working world has changed forever? And, possibly more importantly, what do you not want from your job?
We don’t know about you, but at Project Spaces, we’ve been giving this a lot of thought, and we’ve identified a few outdated corporate ideologies that we think just don’t play anymore.
Here’s what we came up with.
1. 9-to-5 is the Law of the Land
In a not-so-distance past, the status quo was that we were all mandated to cubicle farms for a minimum of five days and forty hours per week.
Then we all got sent home to work and a lot of us realized we didn’t need to do that anymore. You can actually do your job away from the office and, sometimes, you can even do it better.
This used to be a little-known founders’ secret, but today, it’s becoming a fact of life.
So, instead of being confined to the traditional 9-to-5, you can break free of those shackles, figure out how you work best, and build your life around it.
2. Offices Make You Important
The “standard” office layout has got through a ton of iterations over the past decades.
First, offices were the norm—and they were also a symbol of status at work. Then, offices gave way to cubicles which then transformed into open concept workspace layouts.
After that, the pandemic hit, and suddenly everything boiled down to rethinking how many square feet of space it was reasonable for each person in an office to have.
And now, it seems like the world is starting to wake up to the fact that flexible spaces are the secret sauce—mixes of open space and lounge areas and private rooms where people can work when and how it suits them best.
But if you’ve ever spent any time at Project Spaces, it’s no secret that we’ve never been big believers in offices—and that’s why we don’t have any.
In fact, it’s our belief that most founders don’t actually need one.
So, we opt to keep our space physically and metaphorically open to create a sense of community, connection, and collaboration.
Editor’s note: If you want to delve even deeper into this philosophy, check out this article penned by our very own Neil Martin for Huffington Post back in 2014 about why it’s time to close the door on private offices.
3. Change is Scary
In the traditional corporate world, change was a scary proposition. Turbulence meant having to adapt, and adaptability happened at a molasses pace.
And this mindset extended in many ways to professionals: changing careers was seen as risky and, especially in a city as expensive as Toronto, risk-adversity was a common characteristic.
For most people, telling someone you’re considering quitting your job to start your own business got responses of shock and words of caution.
The pandemic was an agent of chaos. It created global layoffs and shake-ups and left many people scrambling over what to do next.
But it also gave people the courage to take a chance on something they might’ve been too scared to do before—changing their career and starting a business of their own.
Don’t just take our word for it: in the U.S.—where the pandemic was arguably mishandled by the government from the outset—a whopping 4.4 million new businesses were started during 2020 alone.
That’s 4.4 million people who decided to start their own business, against all odds, in the most significant period of global and economic uncertainty in modern history.
As it turns out, when you’re smacked in the head by change and you have absolutely no control over it, change stops being so scary.
And that’s a pretty awesome mentality to carry forward, if you ask us.
4. Having a “Real Job” is the Only Way to Get Ahead
On that note, the definition of a “real job” has also drastically changed, and we think this needs to be more widely acknowledged.
Twenty years ago, the best path to success was to get a job with a pension and work your way up until you retired.
Today, the old way of climbing the corporate ladder is less practical than it used to be and it’s not necessarily the best option for everyone.
And if you ask us, it’s something you should feel free to let go of if it doesn’t serve you anymore.
As the internet has revolutionized the way we work, spawning the rise of the gig economy and the creator economy, suddenly working for yourself isn’t such a wild card move anymore.
Just take one look around Project Spaces: our space started off jam-packed with bootstrapping founders just trying to build their businesses.
The only difference today?
There’s way more of us.
If that’s not a sign of the times, we don’t know what is.
5. School is What Makes You Smart
Getting a great education is incredibly valuable. But these days, it’s not the only definition of success.
Gone should be the days of being gauged only on your education—when not having a degree came with a certain stigma and you’d have to battle to justify your worth int he corporate world.
Instead, your resourcefulness and curious mind can help you learn almost anything you need to know, and these days, that should be considered equally valid.
After all, the internet—and its literally infinite tools and resources—allow you to learn virtually anything for cheap or for free, if you’re motivated.
6. Socialization is a Waste of Work Time
“Watercooler chat” used to be frowned upon as a waste of company time. That is, until the pandemic sent us all home, our wellbeing started to falter, and employers started realizing the inherent value of human interaction.
Looking at professional socialization as a waste of time is a fundamentally flawed notion and it doesn’t benefit the modern professional.
And that’s why, at Project Spaces, we make a point of getting people together to hang out, have fun, and start making new work friends.
7. Long Hours Define Success
Let’s be honest: as a founder, you’re inevitably going to have to put in some long days and late nights from time to time.
But it’s not for the same corporate mentality that mandated you needing to be seen to be busy in order to be perceived as productive.
Not all people work the same way, and long hours don’t necessarily indicate output. So, we need to stop looking at time allotted as a measure of success at work.
Instead, we should gauge success based on… success. And, more importantly, personal and professional fulfillment and satisfaction.
Look, we’re not saying our views align with everyone else’s. All we’re doing is making observations of what doesn’t work for us anymore—and what we’re seeing doesn’t work for a lot of the people around us.
That’s why we’re forgoing outdated corporate ideologies at Project Spaces and creating a place where people can come to work, collaborate, and grow together if they feel like it’s time for a change.
If you’re looking for a new way to work alongside a professional community of people who are on the same page as you, book a tour of Project Spaces today and come see what we’re all about.
Founder-friendly coworking in downtown Toronto for entrepreneurs and digital nomads. We create original workspaces, fill them with relentless entrepreneurs, and watch the magic happen. Learn more