Handling it wrong and how to do it right
I’ve seen a few articles throughout this platform that sparked different discussions on work. Some discuss adjusting to working from home, others talk about previous job experiences. But a recent topic I’ve seen floating around has stuck with me.
The love-hate relationship with the ‘work family’ idea.
Today, I explore how these relationships can be weird if handled wrong. But also discuss how, if done right, they can create a healthy, enjoyable work environment. One that breeds productivity and motivation.
Handling It Wrong There are different ways a company can go about discussing having a work family. It can be worded as a prerequisite for a position, rather than a benefit. As if joining this ‘family’ is like entering a special club. There’s also the trap of becoming a member of said family. If done wrong, you can be put into a place where you feel like you can’t leave. If you left, you’d be leaving the ‘family’ rather than making the best professional choice for yourself.
Sometimes, it can also come across as plain weird. We’re here to do a job, get paid, and go home. The family mentality can make the lines of professionalism and work/life balance blur. We don’t need to become so connected that we have to invite all our coworkers to every baby shower or wedding. There’s also no break from work when you enter this headspace. You’re around the same people all the time and not wanting to spend every after-work hour with them is healthy.
Doing It Right With all this negativity, there is a way to do it right. To create an environment of comfort without forcing it on others. Allowing relationships between coworkers to grow naturally. Having a family mentality should be a benefit of working for a company. Your workplace should make you feel able to reach out if you need help. If you’re struggling with personal issues, you should feel as if you can open up to your superiors. To let them know why your work may not be at the same level as it normally is. From an employee’s perspective, Virtustaff is a company that does this right. A nurturing environment can be a benefit. But it should also be a standard that companies hold themselves to. This doesn’t mean that your business becomes unprofessional. Rather, it breeds happier employees who are more productive.
The work-family is attainable. Companies have to be aware of inviting employees to feel a sense of community that isn’t forced. Rather, creating an environment where organic connections are formed. While also letting employees know that this culture shouldn’t tie them down. If they feel that it’s time for them to leave and move on to another job, they can.
The work-family is an interesting beam to try to walk as a company. It can be difficult to find the balance in the middle but it is possible, without being weird.