A few weeks back, I went for an interview conducted by a super secret unidentified company. Since I am still studying, and will probably want a job soon, I shall refrain from mentioning the name or location of the company.
The interview was short – just a few questions like why I would want to work there, and whether I knew what kind of work was being done. The rest of the day was spent in giving the ‘test’ – and it was really enjoyable. I was given a storyboard, character and background graphics and voice over. I had to string them together into an animated clip.
The office was located in an obscure location – locating it was an adventure by itself. And when I entered it, I took an instant dislike to it. Although it looked large from the outside, it seemed to lack space inside. The windows were covered with black paper and there were millions of lights on the roof. This got me thinking, why were the windows constructed at all, if they had to be covered up. And what’s the point of covering up natural light, and installing so many artificial lights?
But despite my initial dislike, I loved the work that they did. As I mentioned earlier, I actually enjoyed what was supposed to be a test!
I requested a lunch break, and was readily given one. There was a small grocery shop just next to the office and I enquired whether there was any place where I could get a decent meal. The lady said, well, if you have some packed lunch, you can eat with me… otherwise, there isn’t any such place around here. I accepted her offer of company and bought whatever she could offer by way of food. I casually enquired about the company and her opinion of the people who worked there. Satisfied with her response, and the ‘meal’ of juice and cake, I resumed my test.
My interviewer shared her concerns regarding the fact that I lived far off and the working hours were not fixed. But I had a much bigger concern.
Working for long hours in an environment that provides absolutely no natural light is disastrous. After personally experiencing consequences of working in such an environment for just three months, I can testify that the employees’ health will deteriorate without them even knowing about it.*
I understand that this is the case practically everywhere on the planet, and for some technical reasons, shutting out real light and living in an artificially created environment is justified. But an organisation should allow (or maybe force) employees to leave the office premises and enjoy some fresh air and good old sunshine.
If the lovely lady and gentleman who interviewed me are reading this, I hope you will still welcome me to your office, should I come begging for a job (I love the work!). But I also hope you will consider that the poor work environment is perhaps the reason why you have such a high turnover in the first place.
Healthy employees = Happy employees = Low turnover + Better Output
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* I will leave the explanation for another post!