By Alison Jones, Lead Consultant
The other day, a colleague floated me an article about the Japanese concept of ikigai, which essentially translates into your “reason for being.” To achieve full ikigai, four parts of your life must align: your passion, your mission, your profession, and your vocation. When this happens, your life is lived with joy. The article goes on to talk about five areas of the world, sometimes referred to as Blue Zones, where people live the longest and seem to achieve ikigai. Okinawa and other longevity hotspots around the world have been identified as the Blue Zones. Studies show that one of the most important characteristics shared by these Blue Zones is a very high degree of social engagement.
As someone who has worked from a home office for 20 years, this got me thinking. Is working from a home office blocking my path to ikigai? Am I missing out on essential social interactions that could be happening every Monday through Friday from 9 to 5? And from a broader perspective, is the widespread use of the home office turning us into recluses who lack social skills, as we shave years off our lives?