After the Covid 19 pandemic, the job market has undergone lot of changes. Companies are facing challenges in reopening offices. Employees are demanding greater flexibility and some companies haven’t developed models to meet the increased employee demands. This seems to have created a sense of disenchantment among employees. Resenteeism is a word that describes this phenomenon.
Resenteeism essentially means being very vocal about hating your job and making your disinterest visible through your actions such as low performance, not meeting deadlines etc. As per the article, Resenteeism has grown rapidly post pandemic.
I guess people were always resentful but we had a world full of opportunities. We could easily hop jobs so the resentment was never there for a long time. It was short lived and subsided as soon as you landed a new job.
That is why succession planning is important. People show Resenteeism when they know they are not easily replaceable and make companies go several yards to retain them. These people eventually quit when they get better opportunities.
If Resenteeism is something that the companies are worried about than they should create more employee friendly policies and embrace flexible work culture. We saw Reseenteeism leading to mass resignations in #TCS.
Resenteeism and putting up with it seems to be more of a phenomenon of the companies of the west. Indian IT companies still prefer a traditional office going work culture. Anything in departure to these core values is not taken in a healthy manner.
I feel some companies pamper their employees a lot. They tune their policies as per employees feedback. They are always ready for change. However, some companies are like strict parents, who want employees to be a certain way. It is all about the core values of the company.
#TCS mass resignation was viewed negatively as it involved female employees who were hired through women hiring programs. They appeared overly demanding and unreasonable who weren't willing to follow company guidelines.
However, such demands come when you see other companies embracing a flexible work culture. You wonder why your company can't do it. It is nothing but industry comparison. So, such conflicts are inevitable.
As a person from IT background, I have been working from home for past few years. I have forgotten how a regular office going culture feels like. Though my organization has reopened its office, I am still hesitant to go to office on a regular basis. It feels that I have become used to working from home. Frankly speaking, working from home is no fun. It is just something that I am finding hard to get over.
Working from home is doing something to my psychological health. I don’t enjoy company of people anymore. Though I am more productive working from home, I don’t derive great joy in a collaborative work environment now. I feel more comfortable if I get to work independently. Earlier, I used to thrive working in a team environment. I am not sure, if working independently (or in silos) is the future of work. I feel work must be a collaborative affair and people working a job must feel happy doing/creating stuff together. I feel this sense of “enjoying your job” is increasingly diminishing in a WFH set up.
With such less interaction with people in a WFH setup, a sense of boredom is creeping in life in general. Never earlier did I feel the importance of going through the rigors of the day. I mean things such as commuting to office, working with a team, having lunch with a team, managing conflicts within a team etc. looked so ordinary. Now, I think that they are vital for our ability to live, work, and thrive. What appeared problems earlier now appear essential rigors for a healthy life. I think we are meant to solve certain problems to live a happy life. If we eliminate those problems, new problems would sprung up, which are often harder and costlier to fix.
I know we are growing, but I don’t think that we are growing in the right direction. We are obsessed with solving problems, however we are not defining or identifying problems correctly. The objective of working jobs is not only to create wealth, it is an endeavor that helps shape society in some manner. We all are shaping and contributing to our future by working the jobs that we do today. So, we should be careful of the precedent that we set.
A sense of belongingness is what I feel is most important in a job. It is the cornerstone of my productivity, loyalty and commitment to the organization. In a world where everything is increasingly becoming virtual, I want to invest in real human interactions. I feel, as a human being, it our primal need to be among people and work together. We all are designed to work that way, I think.
Though I am a big proponent of working from office, I don’t want it to be a rigid affair. I know a section of people are lured with the concept of working from home. They think it is the future and in some way they may be correct as we always define our own future. At the end of the day, it is always a matter of choosing what future we want. And I think, a future where people are prioritized above everything else is what we should choose.
I never thought I would write about my experience of working from home but since it has been too long and I don’t see it ending anytime soon, I think it is still a topic that we can explore.
Employees are finding work from home as a new lease of life or freedom that they had never imagined would come onto them. This is particularly true for organizations that did not have work from home environment. This group of people is doing everything in their power to extend work from home. This might mean talking melodramatically in team meetings about the pandemic, talking about how productivity has risen sharply or how the home environment is helping them work and invest more in themselves. Though all of this might be true in some cases, but we should look deeper to understand how work from home is impacting us.
Employees are enjoying working from home as this gives them full autonomy to be themselves. It is kind of making work a very informal affair from the comfort of your home. We have always looked up at work as a very formal endeavor that needs to be taken up seriously. Work is still not something that can be done enjoying. Although organizations take a lot of effort to make modern workplaces a fun place, it is still work.
My sense is people would enjoy working from home for some time (probably a few years) and then they will start yearning for the workplace. I am saying this for the following reasons:
Office is not only a place where we work. We spend a majority of our lives there. We interact with people there and for many of us those are the only people that we ever interact with (considering how lonely we all are). I think people would soon realize how smaller their social circle is becoming because the only factor that made them socialize and get out there no longer exists.
I guess people would soon understand how fragile their relationships are when they have to spend much more time together. I think when we increase the time we spend with an individual substantially, the relationship enters into a new paradigm. There is a likelihood of conflicts increasing. Since time immemorial the concept of a relationship is built on the fact that either of the partner works and that the workplace is different from home.
We would lose out on making meaningful relationships with people at work that can significantly improve our career and life in general. We anyways have everything virtual. Virtual friends, virtual relations, etc. The last thing we need is virtual work.
We might have instances of employee burnouts. Though it is claimed that WFH has increased productivity. But that is not true. Increased productivity implies an increase in the ability to get work done. A switch in environment does not fundamentally change how talented an individual is. What it does is change other factors like how much time he can spend working. And with work from home, you have more time to spend. Hence the productivity increase is an effect of spending more time working.
Work from home might sprung up employee tracking tools. This essentially means that your activity will be tracked. So, if you are thinking you can luxuriate at home and still be paid, then that is not going to happen. You will be asked to have work ethics even at home.
Benefits of working from home
Though I fundamentally believe in the concept of office (a flexible one though), I believe we can leverage the current time as following:
While it is true that spending too much time together can wreak havoc in a relationship, spending too little time is also a major problem. We hardly get to spend quality time with our loved ones, and this can be a perfect opportunity to fill this void.
This pandemic has been unprecedented, and we do not know how to process it. This might be a reason of increased attrition in companies. Sometimes people change jobs because they lose the connect with their current jobs. And if there is anything even barely enticing, they latch on to it as there is nothing that could hold them back. The switch is more for psychological than financial reasons. With working from home, such thought patterns have increased causing psychological unrest. We must channelize these thoughts and try to grow in our current jobs instead of hopping. This can be a good time to grow in your current company.