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Common Workplace Issues And How To Deal With Them
The workplace is an ever-evolving human system with countless variables that can drastically impact your health, wellness, sense of self, and worldview. While the purpose of the current workplace structure is to provide products or services to people who need them in exchange for the financial means to support one’s life, there’s a lot that can go wrong.
The following will explore common workplace issues as well as offer a few tips on dealing with them. Emphasis will be placed on workplaces in Georgia, but much of this information carries over to other states and even other countries.
Expanding Work Hours And Expectations
The current system relies on competition to hand out jobs and provide the prices for labor, products, and services. Competition is pretty good at some aspects of these tasks, but there are a few glaring issues. One side effect is that competition for promotions, pay raises, and preferential employee treatment can result in pressure to work longer hours.
This puts employees who have children or other obligations outside of work at a disadvantage because they can’t simply stay late without planning to do so. It’s also wreaking havoc on people’s mental health—everywhere you look, people are burning out, losing patience, feeling exhausted, or otherwise struggling. Some people can’t enjoy their time off because they feel so guilty they’re not working, or they’re stressed that it’s causing problems for them at work.
Setting clear boundaries and communicating are key parts of the solution to this problem. If you’ve been given another project that you don’t have time for, express that.
Let your supervisor know that this new project puts your other deadlined assignments in jeopardy. Explain what you can get done in the time you have, and ask them what you should prioritize. Emphasize at the end of the conversation that you’ll only be able to get project A done by Thursday and project B at the end of next week.
Common Workplace Issues: Injuries Or Unsafe Environments
In 2019, it was estimated that 2.4 million workers visited an emergency room for injuries that occurred during work. You are legally within your rights to refuse work that feels unsafe. More than this, there are systems in place to help you pay for medical bills accrued as a result of workplace injuries. The Georgia workers’ compensation laws are expressly clear that workers should have compensation for medical bills, physical therapy appointments, travel to appointments, and hospitalization.
It is worth noting that if you choose to file for workers’ compensation, you are forfeiting the right to pursue compensation in other ways. It’s always best to speak to an attorney before making this choice, as a legal professional can give you a better idea of which options are available and what might be in your best interest. It is worth noting that if you’re working from home, you can still be injured on the job and still be entitled to compensation.
Invasion Of Non-Work Time
Similar to expanding work hours, but different, many people find that their work follows them home at the end of the day. This might take the form of work calls or emails at impolite times, or worry about work projects when you’re trying to spend time with your family. First and foremost, you don’t have to answer calls or messages you get while at home.
If an email comes in at 7 pm, you don’t have to reply until work hours begin the following day or at the end of the weekend. There’s no need to apologize for the delay. You haven’t done anything wrong by waiting until you’re back at work to deal with work stuff. When it comes to mentally letting go of work when you’re off the clock, consider meditation or a mantra like: I can put these problems down for now. I can pick them up tomorrow morning.
Feeling Like You Need To Do Everything
It’s no secret that our standards for what a human can accomplish in a day, a month, or their lives have gotten out of whack. Many people have their job (with a long to-do list welcoming them each morning) but countless other commitments or expectations when they get home (usually another never-ending to-do list greeting them in the afternoon).
Not only is this hustle mentality unhealthy, but it can result in poorer work performance and less enjoyment of life. A good rule of thumb is to assume that you can get three things done each day. If you’re going to work, that’s one. If you want to prepare and eat healthy meals, that’s two. That leaves you one thing after work.
Maybe you pick the gym; maybe you pick playing with the kids; maybe you pick dealing with a mountain of laundry or spending time with your partner. Having realistic expectations about what you can accomplish allows you to better schedule your life and helps avoid the kind of stress that ruins work performance and your ability to do other tasks.
The above list explores some common workplace problems and what solutions to these problems might be. If you’re miserable, exhausted, burnt out, or otherwise suffering, you shouldn’t simply accept it as part of life. Keep rearranging things and trying out solutions until you find something that works for you.