We all have those moments where the thought of working another day at a crumby job seems like too much to bear. It’s normal. It’s healthy to complain about work. We spend most of our days working so it’s only natural to get down about it sometimes. But having a particularly insensitive boss/manager/company director can take it’s toll on the staff, and create a tired workforce who are unhappy and ready to snap at any moment. If you’re thinking about leaving your job due to your boss and their approach to management, read on for my opinion on where to draw the line.
They see holiday entitlement and lunch breaks as a hassle
“Workers have the right to one uninterrupted 20 minute rest break during their working day, if they work more than 6 hours a day”. That’s UK law but some employers like to encourage an atmosphere where staff take brief cigarette breaks, sit down only to eat or eat and work simultaneously e.g. at their desks. I know that on a busy day and it can be easier just to ‘power through’ instead of actually resting and taking a breather, but over time this will be counterproductive to your efficiency as you’ll be low on energy all day. Even worse your boss will assume you working without a break is normal and will become a given. Similarly, if your boss kicks up a stink about you booking paid holidays don’t let it put you off. Everyone needs and deserves time off, otherwise you’ll end up physically and mentally sick from lack of rest.
They broadcast your private life to other employees
If you can’t tell your boss something in confidence then you’ve got a problem. I’ve worked in places where I’ve felt totally comfortable sharing every last detail of my personal life, then places where I’ve not even wanted them to know my partner’s name, and everything in between. Some people just love to express themselves without limits, and don’t mind who knows their business. But when it comes to your employer you really want to be certain that when you tell them something private that it stays that way. I’m not sure what’s worse; telling your boss and having everyone know your deepest darkest secrets, or feeling forced to keep personal issues bottled up inside when you know it’s affecting your ability at work. If you feel totally terrified about bringing up personal issues then that’s not a good person to be working for, and although none of us should feel obliged to leave a job because of that I can’t deny, I’ve done it myself.
They don’t communicate face to face
Any half decent manager know the importance of good communication. It’s the first thing they teach you. My issue is when they start to put every little complaint or comment down in print, via email, memo or even text message (yep, it’s been done) to the staff. I totally understand that writing is a clear, concise way to communicate ideas (I’m doing it right now) but when it comes to performance management I think staff deserve a face-to-face conversation. If nothing else it gives them the opportunity to defend themselves and ask questions. A written document is a telling off with no form of comeback for the reader. By the time they have read it and stewed overnight, fuming about it’s contents, any talks that follow will ultimately be fuelled by negativity. It’s kind of the coward’s way out, and you deserve better.
Long working hours is seen as normal
When it comes to overtime, some people want it and actively seek it out. Others just want to quite happily do their assigned shifts and get back to what’s important to them; family, dogs, their favourite sport. Employers need to accept that you have the right to say no to going above and beyond the call of duty when it’s unreasonable and affects your personal life. It’s often written into your contract that some overtime will be required, and that’s totally acceptable during unusually busy periods or when covering other staff who are off sick or on holiday. When it starts to become normal, when you know you’ll have to work late every night just to ensure you can get out on time on a Friday then I think that’s too much to ask. You need to make sure you can still have time to enjoy what makes you happy in life, in order to remain a productive employee at work.
Do you think your boss is impossible to work for?