Challenging assumptions about how people work

#Upcycle your job by Anna Meller (Practical Inspiration); Reviewed by Emily Hutchinson.

30 April 2019

This book isn’t just about work-life balance, it’s also about the future of work environments and how we (as individuals) and organisations need to change to create environments that are more inclusive. It is coincidental I’m sure that this book is released at the same time as Invisible Women by Caroline Criado Perez, but there is a consistent message from both that the workplace has been designed by men for men (Meller refers to this as the notion of the ‘Ideal Worker’), and that we all need to challenge assumptions that exist about how people work and how jobs get done.

Mellor has a wealth of organisational experience and her academic rigour also shines through. The book is aimed especially at women juggling family and work commitments, although I think it has relevance to a wider audience. She presents the challenge of how we all need to change the way we think about work and careers in order to create lives that are healthy, sustainable but also fulfilling.

The writing style is accessible. Although I didn’t particularly warm to the way that the content was fitted into a model (PORPEL – to address balance), there are some really useful tips in here for individuals wanting to adjust how they work; and, most importantly, how to negotiate that with your organisation.

I want the leaders in organisations (let’s face it, often men) to read it. The book adds value by clearly presenting the case for challenging assumptions that have long been embedded in work environments.

Reviewed by Emily Hutchinson, Associate Editor Books, Director EJH Consulting Ltd