Life + Work = WorkStyle


One of the key concepts in my writing on (media) work in liquid modern times is the notion of developing a 'work-style' as the dominant frame of reference of contemporary life. I'm trying to develop this idea into a workable concept, and introduce it in the very first sentences of Media Work as follows:

In contemporary society, argues Zygmunt Bauman, work is the normal state of all humans and not working is abnormal. Life has come to mean: work. People spend more time in institutions of higher education, hoping to have a better chance in the highly competitive global economy. Work dominates our thinking about life. Choosing not to work is not an option, and the unemployed tend to be seen as people who either need our help (to be schooled or retrained for necessary jobs as defined by current market demand), or deserve our loathing (as those who do not pay taxes, and exploit the welfare system of the state). People's everyday efforts and energy today go into developing a blend of work and lifestyle: a work-style, where life becomes a way of working and a way of being at work.

I am taking my cues for the concept of a work-style from the websites of so-called professional coaching agencies, such as MerryMentality in Australia and The Results Agency in the UK.

As the categories of life, work and play keep bleeding into one another, I'd like to think of lifestyle as inextricably bound up with notions of work and play, and vice versa. Just like maintaining one or more avatars in World of Warcraft is hard work, and being at work can be a lot of fun, life is a blend of everything - we indeed have come to define ourselves on the basis of our work-style.