What does community mean to you? For me it conjures up images of village fetes, jumble sales and meetings in draughty village halls. There's more to community than my rose-tinted version of the word though.
When you're down, who supports you? When times are tough, where do you go to for tea and sympathy and when you need to escape the ups and downs of life, what network do you turn to?
Some of us are really lucky to have a close knit circle of friends and family who support us through such times and when we think about it, many of those friends appear in the form of work colleagues. One of the Gallup questions around employee engagement is "Do you have a best friend at work?"
It may sound like a daft question at first, but when you think about it, you spend around eight hours per day with your colleagues, for five days a week. That's much more awake time spent with your work mates than spent at home with your personal friends and family.
Cleverer people than me have carried out studies to show that having a routine, a purpose and a place to go everyday to carry out meaningful work is a great way to beat depression and anxiety. It's also a great way to recuperate after illness. Us human beings need a purpose and a routine, otherwise we go a little bit crazy (stories of lottery winners who suddenly stop working and find themselves at a loose end are good examples of this).
So, when you look around your office, factory, workshop etc today, take a second look at the people around you. They are there everyday, they will listen when your chips are down and offer a sympathetic ear when you want a good old fashioned whinge about something. They'll laugh with you, cry with you, sometimes wind you up and sometimes let you down.
When you think about it, your workplace is very much a part of your community and whilst at times it may drive you crazy, it probably also keeps you sane too. Your colleagues are like your family - you didn't choose them and you must attempt to get on well with them, even when their behaviour falls short of your personal standards.
Cherish your workplace, as you would cherish your community. With all it's faults, flaws and foibles, it still offers you the social contact, stimulation and purpose that as a human being, we all need.
Rebecca offers corporate training and coaching as well as private client sessions. You can train in NLP with Rebecca, contact her in one of three ways: