Feeling Miserable at Workplace – We the people

The alarm clock goes off, and you hit snooze for the third time. You drag yourself out of bed, hop in the shower, and get dressed, but your mind is already back in bed. You make your way to work, and the misery sets in. Your workday is filled with dull and repetitive tasks, your boss is overbearing, and your colleagues are unfriendly. You check the clock every few minutes, counting down the minutes until you can leave. If this sounds like a typical day for you, you’re not alone.

I recently read this article in Khaleej Times which refers to a recent study by Gallup that states that 80% of employees are miserable at work. That’s a staggering number, and it highlights a serious problem in the modern workplace. I was part of the same regime at one point in time as a senior corporate executive and it is difficult for me to comprehend who is to be blamed for this?

YourProPerGuide, my blog was born to make people aware of this growing issue in the corporate sector and when I was reading this recent article, I felt vindicated to see the results of this survey. There is an issue. Let us accept it. Our Pro & Per lives are not balanced.

Misery at work can have a significant impact on our lives, both professionally and personally. It can lead to decreased productivity, increased stress, and even physical and mental health problems. So, why are so many people miserable at work, and what can we do about it?

Who is to be blamed for this? Is it the corporate culture? What is corporate culture? Who makes this corporate culture?

I think it is us. We the people, who make four walls and office furniture into a workplace. We the people, who work together and still not be together. We the people, as leaders and senior executives who frame policies and procedures. We the people, who once climb the corporate ladder forget what we went through and be vindicative to give the same treatment to newcomers or subordinate staff. We the people, who are driven by our egos to drive a culture of misery. We the people, break all hell on our staff to beat the analysts’ expectations to meet shareholders’ expectations.

It is, We the people.

In one of the leadership trainings during my days as a Senior Executive of an International Bank, we discussed the concept of, “Negative Leadership”. I think and I may be wrong, however, I feel that today’s workplace misery is driven by negative leadership. A toxic work environment is a common cause of workplace misery. A toxic work environment is one where colleagues are very friendly (unfriendly), highly supportive (unsupportive), and even sympathetic (hostile). What you see is what you don’t see.

I was told, one of the most significant contributors to workplace misery is a lack of engagement. Why is there no engagement? Has anybody including our HR folks ever thought about it? When we’re not engaged with our work, it becomes just another chore that we have to do to pay the bills. We don’t feel invested in what we’re doing, and we don’t feel like we’re making a difference. This lack of engagement can lead to boredom, frustration, and a sense of hopelessness. I am sure, we have all seen that reel from comedian Shraddha Ayyo when she gets laid off in the recent tech lay-offs. She talks about this so-called “engagement of employees”, but again it is we the people, who are sitting at the helm of the affairs driving this misery.

So, what can we do to combat workplace misery?

The first step is to accept that there is a problem. Being Aware – awareness. Not just awareness, but to accept that there is a problem. We have a World Economic Forum, which brings together decision-makers from across society to work on projects and initiatives that make a real difference. Why can’t we have a World Human Resources forum, which brings the same decision makers from across society to work on projects and initiatives that make a real difference to the lives of their workforce?

This could mean finding new and interesting projects to work on, or it could mean seeking out opportunities for professional development. When we’re engaged with our work, we’re more likely to feel invested in what we’re doing, and we’re more likely to feel like we’re making a difference.

The issue of workplace misery is a pervasive problem that has a profound impact on the lives of countless employees and their families. The magnitude of this problem has been likened to a pandemic, necessitating urgent action to address it. By taking proactive steps to address workplace misery, we can create a more positive and supportive work environment for employees, improve their overall quality of life, and contribute to stronger and more resilient communities.

Navneet Kampani

Navneet Kampani

For me, the only constant in life is learning. I actually learn to learn.

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