Snow days were a magical experience as a child. Basically, there was too much snowfall so the school board would suspend bus service. However, I lived a five minute walk from my elementary school and that meant I’d still be attending. But the day was magical.
Typically, it meant that the teacher would roll out a trolley with a TV and VCR and show us some show or movie. In later grades, it meant that I could play Oregon Trail to my heart’s abandon. I forged many rivers.
I liked elementary school and I recall liking the material. But what a snow day gave me was control. I could direct what I did and how I managed my time and that was thrilling. Listening today to Sam Harris’ podcast with Johann Hari on the epidemic of depression, one particular point that resonated was one contributing factor to depression is the feeling of a lack of control in our work.
The future of work needs for us to be present and creative, not to just show up and follow a script. To do that, we need to be given freedom to choose our paths. Maybe it’ll be technology that helps convince managers of the benefits to this approach instead of micromanaging things like attendance.