Abuse of The Working Dead

This morning I was commuting to work through the city. My podcast feed brought me this gem from HBR IdeaCast. Many people might say it's my own fault for listening to such things. To be fair I go through a lot of stuff as I sit in my car because of the forced return to office policy (cutesied up as RTO) in the name of workplace culture, after the company, just a year before, promised that work from home was permanent thing.

The podcast really talks about the rampant disengagement of employees and how it's no longer the realm of the company or managers to solve the problem. This is an epidemic of personal issues.

Most of the advice about how to address the problem is directed at managers and organizations: how they can get us more engaged. But is it possible for us to snap ourselves out of these ruts?

As if the situation we are forced into is of our own making. As if everyone getting fed up with inflation, shrinkflation, enshitification, and inequality is really just a problem of individuals who are not with the program. The guest speaker even acknowledges the point.

The reason that people get disengaged from their work is because the demands of the job, be it emotional, physical, cognitive, time, logistics, overwhelm their personal resources, the support they’re getting, the amount of time they have, the knowledge they have, et cetera. That can happen at any level of the workplace. Also over the past three years, I would say demands have increased in almost every area of life. Resources are generally not keeping up for a lot of people.

So the problem is with the environment. It's not you it's your environment. Seems the best thing one could do is to fix the environment. Make it less shitty.

Nope. Step one of the solution - detachment. That's right, become less attached to the fact that you have zero control over how bad things are in your life.

It’s really about getting a little bit of distance, not from the work per se, but from your own emotions. So things like meditation, exercise, just getting out of doors, feeling your body can help you calm down, get in touch with your feelings a little bit, and get that distance that you need to make the right choices and not be stuck in a kind of flight or fight mode, or “I can’t do anything.

See, if you can just meditate for a little while and stop feeling, then you will reach the enlightenment of knowing that your life has no meaning beyond how much value you can create for people at the top. Then all of your problems will have a magical solution. How long can a society go on like this before it eats up all of it's capacity to do anything?

#enshitification #inequality #inflation #rant #shrinkflation #thoughts