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A better work bag

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A better work bag

· · Comments

Dom and I always enjoy disecting the feedback you leave us. On the surface, the yearly design survey gives us some practical pointers about the things you carry and how to better accommodate them. But what really makes us think are those additional bits of insight you leave us. If I had to sum up the overall survey findings into one word it would be – sensible. As a society, we’re getting more sensible in the way we dress, what we buy, and how we use the things we already own. It’s becoming painfully obvious that what we need in life is not more of anything, it’s better of what we already have. 

And the one thing we all have is a job. We spend around 1/3 of our lives at work. It’s the bane of many of our existence, and yet we need it to exist. But just as our relationship with the things we own is changing, so is our relationship with the work we do. The amount of money we earn is getting less significant compared to the fulfillment we expect our job to give us. We still need enough money to live a dignified life, but we’re getting better at saying no to more of the same and saying yes to things that will, in the end, mean something to us. 

You can’t design a work bag without thinking about the context which surrounds it. The way we work and what we expect from it is changing, which means our bags, in one way or another, need to follow suit. But not all trends are made equal. When it comes to the way we work, we feel there are at least two major trends we don't think will go away any time soon.

Meaning over profit

We have two options when it comes to time – waste it, or spend it. When we waste it, we are not getting anything meaningful from it. But when we spend it, there’s a purpose and meaning behind it. The simple fact is that we don’t want to waste 1/3 of it on a job we hate so that we could buy things we don’t need, to impress people we don’t like. We expect more from the work we do, and we’re no longer afraid to say it. 

We think that our work has meaning when we feel it contributes to a bigger cause we believe in. But the problem is that profit maximization is still the primary, and in a lot of cases, the sole purpose of a company. In a time when we’re facing existential issues like climate change, we can no longer accept that. We expect companies to act and take responsibility for their actions like any good citizen would. When we know our work is contributing to making something better, it's no longer just something we do to pay the bills. It provides a dose of satisfaction that increases the quality of the work we do and, in a more general sense, the life we lead.

As time goes on, we believe this need for meaning and being part of something bigger will make the cause we’re working for more important than the actual work we will be doing. The thing about free-market economy - when enough of us say we don’t like something, companies will be forced to adapt. 

Work-life balance

While work is a big part of life, it’s not everything. There’s satisfaction in variety, and after a great day at work, there can be an even better evening. That’s why we expect the work we do to get better at accommodating all other areas of our life. In other words, we want to have work-life balance. 

We think the idea of working 9-to-5 is out of date, especially for knowledge/white-collar work. The amount of time we can keep an uninterrupted focus on a specific task differs for Dom and me. The time of day we feel most productive is also different. The point being, we’re different, and having enough flexibility to adapt our day in a way that allows us to get as much done in as little time as possible is important and allows us to balance our work and after-work life easier. 

We applaud companies that are trying to keep up by offering flexible hours, the ability to work remotely, and are less strict with their dress codes. It removes some of the unnecessary stress that some arbitrary rules, like time spent at work, place on us. We believe more and more companies will adopt this approach when structuring their workday.

A better work bag

So what, in the light of all these changes, makes for a great work bag?

From a general design perspective, we still believe that simplicity is the way to go. If we want to spend more time on things that are meaningful to us, we need to waste less of it elsewhere. To quote ourselves:

“We believe that simple-looking things are, in general, more enjoyable to use and are more pleasant to look at. We hate it when an item takes up a lot of our time and requires special attention - especially if it's a piece of clothing or an accessory we want to use daily. A clean appearance is just easier to wear. It matches nice and doesn't restrict you to a single style. It doesn't ask for too much attention, because instead of being a specific style piece it's just a good-looking object on its own. A tool that can become invisible because you don't need to worry or think about it too much.”

But just as work is no longer just about the paycheck, a work bag can’t be just about pockets anymore. The story and the people behind it are getting just as important. Just as with the bags we design, it’s our job to communicate it better. We know we’re over a month late, but this is our new year’s resolution. 

Progress report

We already started working on some of the newer models and we hope to have something to share with you soon. We're currently working on the Two and expect to have the first sample ready next week! If all goes according to plan, we'll bring it to next week's show and tell.

If you have some additional thoughts on the subject, you can always leave a comment, email us, or hit us up on Instagram. We’re all ears. You can also leave your email here if you'd like to be notified of any new post relating to our process.