Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Say What? "Don't use words that invoke images of actual work"

Earlier this month there was an article on Yahoo! on the "6 Worst Home Fixes for the Money." The worst of the six is a home office remodel. Part of the rationale is that with the proliferation of wireless devices, people can work anywhere. Fair enough. But what caught my attention was the advice given for those selling a house with a home office: "call it a study, den or hobby room....don't use words that invoke images of actual work. Or the office."

So that's where we stand as a society. Work is so lousy that we shouldn't dare bringing up images of work when trying to sell positive visions of our home. As work is currently structured, our work is something we need to escape from and leave elsewhere. Certainly workers should enjoy time away from work. But if work is so lousy that we shouldn't "invoke images of actual work," then we need to re-think how we as a society structure work. Lastly, note that this suggestion to avoid bringing images of work into the home also reflects a longstanding, gender-biased view of work in which child-rearing, cooking, housework, and other caring activities done within the home are not real work. Indeed, real work is already going on in our homes! We need to re-think how we think about and value work.

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