Work-life balance update
Sign up for myFT Daily Digest and be the first to learn about work-life balance news.
The author is the author of “Climb as You: The Art of Women and Ambition”
You can’t help but understand two key issues in the current workplace: “menopause” and “flexible work” by just looking at a screen or newspaper.
Obviously, none of these phenomena was caused by the pandemic. Although you think they are forgivable because they have almost no air time in the past year or so.
Both of these questions reflect this: we have the opportunity to discuss various aspects of work and life, which should have been routine, but somehow they have become taboo. The question is: are we talking about things that really matter?
Last month, the Women’s and Equality Commission launched a party-wide investigation to investigate workplaces Menopause policy. A survey in 2019 Bupa It is estimated that nearly 900,000 women in the UK have completely resigned due to menopausal-related symptoms. This is an extraordinary statistic.
Without involving any other meaning (such as having entry-level humanity), this is the most uneconomical (wo) human use imaginable. Losing some of the best and most experienced people because of perfectly predictable normal medical symptoms? This is the definition of waste and short-termism.
Just as menopause was not invented in March 2020, Flexible working system. In the past two decades, people’s awareness of mental health and life balance has become more and more important.
I don’t remember when I joined the labor market in the mid-1990s, people talked about “burnout”, “attendance”, and “pleasanteesim” (smiley faces covering up mental health problems).
I layoffs from my last full-time office job in 2001, because I can see the facial pressure and family life pressure of almost everyone I work with. I have a hunch that I will work for myself happily.Now, the environment you are expected to constantly “open”-usually for no particular reason, just to strengthen someone’s other weak authority-is correctly seen poisonous.
All this is a good thing. If it is rather strange, like work issues, we always seem to be arguing about very basic things, and no rational person will disagree in the first place. It is expected that women in their forties may need some support during the perimenopausal period, which is hardly controversial.
Employees who believe that they have a certain sense of agency and choice in their work practices may be more inclined to an organization, which is not entirely cutting-edge. What is disturbing is that these common, common, and small problems have become hot topics. In turn, they act as a kind of “shield” to avoid topics that are truly controversial and difficult to talk about at work: status, generational discord, age discrimination (at both ends of the spectrum), inequality.
These popular areas of debate allow us to avoid the thing we least want to talk about: hierarchy.
The change in attitudes towards hierarchy is the biggest self-evident challenge in the work world in the past 20 years. Many people under the age of 40 (definitely under the age of 30) completely resist hierarchy.
They don’t understand why it is considered correct, and they are not interested in strengthening the system. They did not see the meaning of “waiting” for three years to reach a certain level of impact. This mentality is reflected in conversations about “Me too”, “Black people’s fate is also fate” and various identity politics. Once you start to question inequality in society, you will start to see it everywhere. You start asking a lot of questions.
Some of these queries may be considered immature footprints. “Why this old guy-he doesn’t actually do much-earn respect and get the most income?” “Why should I wait for my turn at the meeting?” “Why can’t I work from home?”
But they are also valid questions. Normally, the only logic why things happen the way they do at work is because “this is the way we always do things” and/or because “we are older than you, more experienced, and we know best.”
Before the pandemic, these answers were bad, and now they are worse. By investigating menopause or handing out laptops that work from home to everyone, no better response will be found. They will reveal through embarrassing, uncomfortable, and very honest conversations. Let us make room for these.