Deciding that you need to find a new job can be tough but finding the right workplace culture for you can be tougher. The UK’s largest study of work happiness found that over one in three people are unhappy in their jobs. That’s a lot of people.
Over the last few years, the world of work has changed and there’s been a definite shift in the attitudes and values companies hold within the workplace, and businesses either change with it, or get lost in the ether.
Growing up we get told that hard work is what will get you to where you need to be. Hard work is studying for an hour after school or college for exams, attending an after school class, taking part in study groups and reading books. Hard work is writing phrases on revision cards or spending a short break in the library.
Then all of a sudden after a few years you're in the real world, and that extra hour a day of hard work turns into two, and then three and then four. It's early mornings. Late nights. Taking short lunch breaks. Taking no breaks at all. It's checking emails on Saturdays and Sundays. It's feeling guilty for getting up from your desk too much. It's anxiety about booking too many holiday days close together. It's staying an hour after your finish time, just to avoid the 'part timer' comment. It's not going to the doctors when you're sick because you can't have time off. It's the anxiety of calling in sick. It's the worry that when you're back in the office of being questioned by your boss.
And suddenly 'hard work' has consumed you, and you're no longer you anymore. You haven't read any of the books you wanted to read. You didn't go to the gym after work because you were too tired. You don't get chance to listen to your favourite band anymore. You cancelled your dinner with your friends. You didn't get home in time to watch your favourite show on TV. You order takeout because you have no energy to cook. You spend all Saturday in bed because you have no energy after the week you've had. You wake up on Sunday and look at your emails. You end up doing some work to get a head start for Monday. You lay awake on Sunday night, worried about the stress of work on Monday.
But that's definition of hard work, isn't it? The 'grind'.
In 2022, this is no longer the definition of hard work in the workplace, and it is not a normal mindset or culture for any business to have. The narrative above is not an acceptable way for employees to live their lives, and companies are noticing this more and more. And slowly but surely, the world is waking up from this previous workplace culture, and moving forward to something brighter.
All of a sudden hard work is hitting your targets, whether you work until 6 or get an early finish on a Friday. It's getting all of your work done, even if you leave early on Wednesday to take your car to the garage. It's submitting an amazing piece of work, even if you worked from home for half of the week. It's getting that client in you've been working on for weeks, even if you took off a mental health day on Monday.
Businesses are starting to understand that we are all humans, and we all need a work-life balance.
We are no longer defined by the hours spent staring at a screen, or by how late we respond to emails. We are defined by our achievements, our attitude and our work. Businesses will never attract the right talent until they change their ways, and if you're feeling stuck, or undervalued, or dehumanised. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. There will be a company out there for you, and Niyaa People could be it.
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