How we spend our days is how we spend our lives. And since we spend about a third of our day in the office, we spend a third of our life working. We’d better make that time count.
But what does ‘count’ actually mean? For some, it might be a nice corner office or a big pay cheque. For others, a great culture or friendly colleagues.
When Steve Jobs delivered his commencement address to Stanford graduates in 2005 he touched on the idea of meaningful work:
“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.”
When I entered the tenth year of my working life, I came to the realisation that I wasn’t spending my days doing what I believed to be great or meaningful work. Having had made steady progress, I was managing a team of talented people and my work allowed me to do the things I loved in my free time. I just didn’t truly love what I did when I was working. I didn’t see how my contribution was meaningful in the long term.
Growing up, I was attracted by innovation before I even knew the word. Having seen my father using a mobile phone when they were rare and the size of a small suitcase. I had access to a PC when it only had a command line. I marvelled at an Apple Macintosh in someone’s home on which you could drag files into a bin to delete them. It was like I was living in the future. Then some years later, it happened again. The Discman, MiniDisc player and then the MP3 player. The ones that would hold about 10 songs… Mobile phones were becoming much more common and the Nokia ringtone could be heard on the corner of every street. We were now playing Snake and sending SMS messages. Again, it felt like the future had truly arrived.
In 2001 the iPod appeared (“a thousand songs in your pocket”) and in 2007 Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone. Slide to unlock. Wow. The rate of innovation has only accelerated since. And even though one can debate whether it’s exclusively brought us good things, it’s this innovation that has empowered us to do things we could never do before. I remember my mother looking at a big paper map trying to figure out how to get to our destination. Now it’s a few taps on a phone and seconds later someone will literally tell you how to get there. I am — and always have been — intrigued by technology.
When I first heard about HomeHero, I was intrigued in the same way. Kenny, the co-founder and CEO explained to me how he and his team were on a mission to make people’s lives easier by saving them from arduous chores. He spoke about the delivery of a personal home manager who is accessible 24/7 via your smartphone and who would take care of all your chores and tasks. Allowing people to take back valuable time for important things. It resonated.
I was very lucky to grow up with my mother being the full-time home manager. Dinners seemed to appear out of nowhere, cupboards were full of clean clothes at all times and the house was always spotless. I’m not sure I realised at the time what a privilege this was but obviously, now I do. When it comes to all the tasks and chores in and around the home, very few people find themselves coming home to a place without a to-do list of some sort. The concept of having someone to keep your house tidy and look after daily chores and tasks is not new. It would simply have been regarded as a great luxury.
I like that HomeHero aims to change this. First of all by acknowledging that many people are really busy during the day. They simply want to spend their free time doing things that matter. Secondly, by solving this problem with technology.
So I took the job and started a new journey aligned with what drives me, and the meaningful work I was looking for. Building this product with the HomeHero team and to pursue a mission that will free people from daily chores, is fulfilling. It’s ambitious, it’s difficult, but we are incredibly motivated as a team. It’s meaningful. And for someone who grew up admiring all the innovation that ended up making our lives easier, it seems only right that I am now part of a team that is trying to do just that.
Arjan is the Marketing Lead at HomeHero. If you haven’t yet found meaningful work that you love, keep looking. Don’t settle. And if you like the sound of HomeHero, why not send us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org