Reaction: A glimpse into Emotional Labor

(Originally published in June 2013)

Service with a Smile

Wonderfully deep insights from the lives of front-stage staff

Of course service design strives to be holistic, gestalt, empathetic, deep, etc., etc., etc. – and of course we use great models and tools such as service blueprints, stakeholder maps, service ecology pyramids, etc. to help us visualize and understand the personal needs, value-exchanges, and finer intricacies of a service.

However, armed with all our lovely tools and intentions, at the end of the day we often don’t give enough focus, concern, or credit to the front-of house employees.

We have to force ourselves to remember that they are people– with their own personal problems, desires, emotions, and concerns– not just objects of productivity.

Further reading here: Emotional labor

Design Considerations:
When giving someone a task, how might we ensure that the role is fulfilling, respectful, and sufficiently compensated?

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