I recently saw one of those opinions from the C-Level that you get on the web these days, wherein the author took two pieces of data and magically created causation.
- Remote work has grown
- Unhappiness at work has grown
Ergo, we must all return to the office for our happiness. As I read it, after wishing I hadn’t, I thought to myself, “That is a wild misinterpretation of the reality of work.”
No, people, especially younger workers, are not unhappy because they are at home instead of surrounded by people they don’t choose to be at a desk with no walls. Not all of us anyway. There are much bigger issues here that make workers unhappy. The con games that uber-rich CEOs, law firm partners, Boards, and majority investors have been exposed. Gen Z watched their elders spend years dedicated to a company only who told them they were like family, only to get pitched out like yesterday’s trash when the investors weren’t getting enough of a profit to buy that bigger yacht.
The promise of working hard and being rewarded is hard to swallow when you’ve seen Gen X and Millennials work hard and get absolutely nowhere. Forced to start over again and again as successive organizations let them go, or went under, while the people who ran those organizations got paid millions.
As this quote goes to show:
Kenneth Matos, global director of customer people science at Culture Amp, an employee-experience software company, told Insider that successive generations have felt like the promise that hard work leads to success and gratification is becoming more and more untrue.
“So, no, waiting until I’m 60 to be happy is just not a viable strategy,” he said.
So no, mister CEO, people aren’t unhappy with their work because they don’t see each other enough in the office. It’s because many of us have decided that work doesn’t provide enough value to be happy about.
Read the whole thing, because, in many ways, the kids are right.
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