Insights on empathy and trust in remote work culture

The word on the lips of the workforce has shifted from "what?" to "why?" Why am I working for a company that doesn't care about me? Why am I giving 40, 50, 60, 90 hours a week to a company whose values are questionable or harmful? For the first time in a long time (possibly my whole lifetime of nearly 40 years), the power has shifted into the hands of the workers. And they've had it up to here with being cogs in the machine.

One silver lining of the upheaval of the past year and a half has been an acceleration of a societal restructure that was already under way: workers are sick of being taken advantage of, empowered by trend of remote work that is only growing, and finding enough solidarity to reach a tipping point.

In other words, to bring in one of my favorite tools to use in improv comedy, If this is true, then what else is true? Workers are able to ask themselves:

  • If remote work is the new normal, then why should I be chained to an office in an overpriced city?
  • If my skills can attract greater compensation elsewhere, then why not leave a job where I feel undervalued?
  • If companies exist who prioritize psychological safety, flexibility, diversity, empathy... then what's my motivation to stay with a company that doesn't?

It feels similar to the seismic shift that occurred at the start of the #MeToo movement in the entertainment industry: where historically, actors/writers/comedians/etc. expected to deal with sexual harassment as "just part of the job," suddenly, there was enough of a spotlight on the corruption to empower these artists to choose better opportunities, or even not working at all, over intolerable working conditions.

It's about the reprioritizing of personal values over the industry as it has existed.

The internet has its share of problems, but one of the major upsides to being able to communicate and learn at lightning speed is for tired, overworked, underpaid employees to realize they're not alone.

The pandemic enforced ample time, space, and stillness for contemplation: do we work to live, or live to work? And if our skills and ideas are so precious, then why are we giving them to organizations that don't make us feel seen, heard, or included as a whole person?

It's the Age of Aquarius, my friends. The collective is rising up. Individuals are recognizing their sovereignty. And what this means for the #futureofwork is the power in the hands of the people to build lives that are more fulfilling, balanced... and about living, rather than just showing up for a paycheck.


(For a closer look at this movement toward employee enlightenment and empowerment, chew on these articles:)

Americans Are Overworked And Over Work
“As I’ve gotten older, work is definitely [still] really important, but I think I’ve started to see it less as my identity.”
Employees who quit have realized this 1 missing thing about their job
Before your employee gives notice, they’ve likely made this personal realization about their sense of security.
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