How to Create an Ethonomical Workplace
Ronald Monte | September 20, 2018
Ethonomics is a term we’re starting to hear more and more, and while it is the combination of the word “ethics” and “economics,” it goes beyond ethical business practices, perhaps best defined as navigating the economy through the lens of ethical decision-making.
To further clarify, deciding to avoid ethical gray areas—such as a tech company not selling users’ personal data to ad firms or car companies not installing airbags that might deliver deadly shrapnel in a fender bender—is just standard ethical decision-making, not ethonomics.
But when you read up on ethonomics, the information is usually about everyone other than those who work at the business. Are ideal work conditions not just as indicative of a brand’s ethonomic principles as any forward-facing initiatives? And to really drive this concern home, can the consumer really trust a brand’s public altruism if their employees don’t skip into work?
Maybe, but as consumers ourselves, we’re not so sure.
Implementing positive social, political, environmental, or economic change can be a subjective path. One person’s ethical calling can look to another like progressing negative ideas. But you don’t need to be on an objective plane of morality to practice ethonomics. A business that is forward-facing ethonomically is one with a cause or principle that is a core part of the way they do business.
For example, there’s a distinct difference between IKEA using augmented reality to show customers how furniture would look in their home versus Patagonia using virtual reality to save Bears Ears National Monument. Both campaigns can increase brand interaction and lead to an increase in sales, but the latter has an overtly ethonomic angle.
Believe it or not, practicing ethonomics internally can be more beneficial to your bottom line than rolling out a socially conscious initiative. And the easiest way to do that is by utilizing technological innovation to create the ideal work environment. By delivering what an employee needs to perform their job in the least stressful and most personalized way possible, you create a healthier workplace environment, building a more ethonomics oriented company from within.
It’s been said that making a positive change in oneself starts with the person in the mirror. The same can surely be said for companies.
Of course, reevaluating corporate culture, demographics, hierarchy, oversight, and accessibility to safe places to report wrongdoing are hugely important and increasingly essential, but that’s why we specified “easiest.” Employees being able to get the job done in the most comfortable, most seamless, and least distracting way possible lays the ethonomical groundwork that makes space for everything else.
The Ethonomics of a Better Life
The goal of any innovation is to make a person’s life better. And it could be argued that the number of lives a technology improves is a measurement of its ethonomical impact. But that’s not really fair, is it? Tech Giants who want to be considered renewable or green or overly transparent should be held to a higher bar than a tech startup without the capital for global impacts. That’s why, for thousands of businesses across the US, introducing internal-facing ethonomics is the ideal jumping off point. Creating the best working life for your workers not only improves the quality of your company’s output, it’s also an ethical business practice that creates a more positive workplace culture.
Who wouldn’t want to look forward to going to the place they work? And who wouldn’t want to support a company that cultivates that kind of environment?
Why Forward-Facing Ethonomics Is Important to Your Bottom Line
Internal approaches aside, if you’re a modern-day business owner or entrepreneur, you need to be aware of ethonomics whether there’s a cause you’re passionate about or not. With the current cultural climate of activism and brand scrutiny, companies that take ethonomics seriously can position themselves as the easier buy, now but particularly in the future.
Planting trees is the ethonomics of yesterday. Overcompensating for your environmental impact is the ethonomics of today. Creating a digital platform for developing countries to turn existing resources into net worth to encourage conservation while making them competitive in the global economy? That’s the ethonomics of tomorrow.
What You Can Do Right Now
Crafting a modern workplace relies on considering the climate, and not in regards to Global Warming. Is your office the best place for creativity? Do the desks encourage collaboration while providing the option to plug in and immerse yourself in the task at hand? Is everything up-to-date, cords are few and far between, and “getting organized” isn’t a daily task?
With the accessibility and variety of state-of-the-art technology, every employee at every level should be able to answer yes to all of those questions. Described by TechSpot as “the epitome of an all-in-one solution,” the Cemtrex SmartDesk is an easy example, a sit/stand workstation with three fluid monitors, gesture control, a built-in scanner, and so much more, all powered by one single cord.
Ethonomics isn’t only about making a difference in the world or garnering brand awareness for taking on a cause. It’s about making sure you cover the people who work for you too, and that starts with delivering the best possible working environment.