A few years back, my eyes opened to an interesting theory. That of ‘work masks’. An external agency conducted a Thomas Profile test for our managers and there it was revealed that each person has a social conduct (which is how he behaves naturally in his house or social circle) and a work mask (it is called a mask for a reason). I was surprised to see that the graphs depicting each of them were different for the same individual. That means, a person is different in his natural self and different at work. Isn’t that iffy, a person having two identities? But that’s how it is for most people are work. There were hardly 3 people (including myself) in that group of 16 who had the same social and work graph. Such people are same everywhere; they have no work masks. And that’s why it is called a ‘mask’ because people put it on when they come to work. This is not how they are, rather, only pretend to be.
Most of our seniors interact with us only for work. At those rare times when the invisible, thick wall, separating a person’s office and person life, is broken and a person’s ‘personal’ side comes out, it is often awkward and hard to relate his that side with him. What movies does your Boss watch? How are your Boss’s children like? What does your Boss do on a holiday? Does your sub-ordinate love someone? What kind of upbringing has your subordinate had? Does your subordinate have a serious hobby? More often than not, we never know what our workstation partner is outside work. It is even difficult to imagine them as anything else.
I am lucky to have a kind of private work area. It is an isolated cubicle and one can’t easily spot me sitting there. I have been given a huge soft board area and because no one can see it, I did it up in my way. In fact, I put all these things up there becauseno one can see the board. Had it been visible to everyone, I wouldn’t have personalized my space so much because I obviously am expected to maintain some professionalism and norm.
This is how my work station looks like:
I have projected in this space things I love: quotes, flowers, craft and personal memoirs. Because I have always loved craft, I used whatever I found artistic at work and recycled it to look pretty.
How do you keep yourself at work? Are you different or do you let people know the real you?