As technology continues to facilitate remote work opportunities and more and more people become self-employed, various factors are motivating a shift away from the traditional workplace. Many workplace issues and office politics that existed decades ago still exist today. There are countless reasons why many people want to be their own boss instead of working at a traditional job.
In fact, some people are so fed up with the workplace issues they deal with Monday to Friday, that they’re thinking about starting their own business just to get away from it all.
The modern workplace is complex both for employers and employees. A large company will struggle to avoid certain problems in the workplace that come from people of many different backgrounds attempting to work together.
No matter how big or small the company you work for is, it’s crucial to address these issues instead of letting them continue. If problems in the workplace persist, the self-employed or entrepreneur life will start to look more and more appealing.
1. Office Gossip and Bad-Mouthing
One of the things that many people need to recognize in regards to the workplace is that people often like to talk about other people, especially their coworkers. However, this doesn’t meant that you should participate or engage with someone who is bad-mouthing a coworker or gossiping about someone.
By participating or engaging, you’re enabling the problem to persist. Workplace gossip is a huge issue that should be dealt with through the use of boundaries and people shutting it down at the office when they hear it.
2. Sexism and Gender Inequality
Social narratives layered with gender inequality still exist in the workplace, unfortunately. Like racism, sexism is a serious workplace issue, in both blatant and subtle ways. While many companies and careers have made major strides in regards to shutting down sexism, there is still a lot of work to be done, including sorting out the pay gap between men and women, and the division of leadership positions.
Any sort of discrimination is unacceptable, and gender discrimination should not still be happening in the workplace today. You can play a role in ensuring that discrimination is not acceptable in your workplace. Speak out against it and function from a place of equality at all times.
There are multiple types of racism in the workplace and sometimes, it unfortunately goes on under the radar. Obviously, there are blatant forms of racism, where people are being cruel to people of different races and ethnicities at their workplace. But, there are also more subtle and/or systematic issues that may need to be addressed as well. Either way, racism is still an issue in the modern workplace.
If you have the type of career where you have to work with other people or be part of a team, you should never have to put up with any type of racism. This is always something that should be reported.
4. Lack of Transparency
Workplace issues that occur quite often include your colleagues assuming something they want to say would be “impolite”, “unnecessary” or “a bother” to talk about. However, because of this mentality, there ends up being an office culture where there is a lack of transparency on every level.
This indirectness leads to guessing games where nobody at the workplace wins. The lack of transparency between colleagues who aren’t brave enough to speak their minds makes it difficult to communicate. This communication fail can prevent people from being able to navigate their jobs and work relationships successfully.
5. Security Concerns
Keeping employees and management safe is a concern for a number of businesses, especially as we live in an increasingly dangerous society. It’s hard to determine which technologies are going to be best for security purposes, and it can be hard to predict what could put the employees at risk. Updating security practices and keeping everyone in the loop can go a long way when dealing with security.
Sometimes, when a person in a leadership position suggests a new software, content management system or technology that isn’t secure, they’re putting everyone’s personal data at risk. That’s why an IT lead who specializes in security should always have the final road on all things tech-related, such as the implementation of a new software.
6. Poorly Managed Expectations
What does your employer expect from you? Sadly, nowadays, more people are getting paid for much less than they’re worth. So, of course, it begs the question- what expectations should employers have for their employees?
Managing expectations based on pay and time can be a really difficult task to master for business leaders, especially for startups and nonprofit organizations. Because of that, it’s more essential than ever for employees to be assertive and to set boundaries based on what their job description and pay rate look like.
It’s also crucial for business leaders to clearly set their expectations, to give the employee in question a fighting chance to meet those expectations. Regular check-ins where expectations are communicated, addressed and managed is also wise.
7. Work-Life Balance
Too many people bring work home on a regular basis, and it can be hard to break that habit if it’s something that you’re used to doing. Separating your work life and your home life is fair, because otherwise, you’re probably not getting paid enough for the hours you put in.
Also, it’s paramount to separate these two things because of your wellbeing, as well. If you’re taking work home at the end of the day too much, then you’re not taking a time out for your mental health or for your relationships. Over time, this could be harmful for your body as well. So, finding that balance and doing it well can go a long way for you.
Recognizing these problems and knowing what it is that you need to do with them can go a long way as you try to make the workplace better for those who you may be working with. Learn about how you can help people and get working on what your organization needs. In the long run, everyone involved is going to benefit greatly from the work you’ve put into it.
You don’t want to feel like you’re always “on”. You need that separation and that work-life balance where you have “off” hours to stay sane. That’s why it’s best to avoid checking your work email when you’re at home and off work. You don’t have to, you shouldn’t have to, and it’s best to get out of work mode and check your work email at the office in the morning.
Take care of your mental health by not allowing any workplace issues to go on without intervention. If your work environment is toxic, look into other options, including the self-employed life.