Wellness
Manager’s controversial post about empathy in the workplace goes viral
Needless to say, this has gone viral.
Irene Markianou
10.21.21

Relationships between colleagues have never been a walk in the park.

There have always been workplace spats and there always will be, but there is so much room for empathy that if we exercised it more often, more people would wake up happy to go to work.

Unsplash
Source:
Unsplash

The pandemic has changed our lives in ways we never thought it could. And some of the biggest changes for most of us came at work. At the end of the day, it seems that it wasn’t entirely negative.

Most professionals have had to work remotely during the lockdown and at first, it was something new for everyone – people had no idea how to go about it, but we made it happen.

Unsplash
Source:
Unsplash

Today, more and more companies offer flexible work schedules to their employees, along with the option of working from home some days of the week.

But, has this shift to a flexible work schedule really improved empathy in the workplace?

Unsplash
Source:
Unsplash

According to manager and communications expert Megan Witherspoon, working from home causes its own problems with empathy, or a lack thereof.

Some people just don’t understand that working at home has very different challenges and that as long as the work gets done, maybe it’s not a big deal if people clock in and out at certain times, for example.

Witherspoon recently posted on LinkedIn about all the things she does care about, and those she does not, when it comes to her colleagues.

“I DO care that your daughter is home with yet another ear infection. I DO NOT care that you’ll be offline for 2 hours this afternoon for her doctor’s appointment.

I DO care that your ailing mom needs hands-on care and her facility is understaffed. I DO NOT care if you need to work asynch this week between meals, medications and visiting hours.

I DO care that a bus driver shortage means you don’t have reliable transportation for your son. I DO NOT care if you need to get back to me in an hour after picking him up from school.

I DO care that your dog is puking all over your rug right now. I DO NOT care if you need to jump off our call to rush him outside and clean up the mess

I DO care that you desperately need to get out of your house because you’ve been cooped up far too long. I DO NOT care if you’d like to work from the office for a few days, or from Florida for a week.

I DO care that you haven’t taken your vacation time, because I know you need a break. I DO NOT care if that means asking for help so you can disconnect without missing a deadline.

In short…

I DO care about YOU and the things you care about. I DO care that you deliver quality work and perform at your best. I DO NOT care when, where or how you get your work done.”

According to her list, she does care about everything that happens in her colleagues’ lives that affect the way they work – directly or indirectly.

As she clearly explained, she does not care how, when, or where the job is done. But she does care that employees perform at their best and the work they deliver is of the best quality.

Unsplash
Source:
Unsplash

She seems to realize that there are days when family or home stuff pops up – of the kind that cannot be ignored.

At those times, she highlights the importance of supporting employees by giving them the time and space to deal with it without putting extra pressure on them.

Unsplash
Source:
Unsplash

Witherspoon gave an interview to Bored Panda and discussed her points.

“I would advise companies and leaders to go as far as they realistically can with providing flexibility to their employees,” she says. “Flexibility isn’t a sacrifice – it actually makes great business sense. And employee expectations have changed and they’re willing to vote with their feet.”

As she explains, giving flexibility to employees and really caring about their overall well-being is the key for companies to retain top talent, as well as to have happy, engaged, and dedicated employees that they can trust.

Unsplash
Source:
Unsplash

LinkedIn users loved Witherspoon’s post, which already has received more than 100,000 reactions.

“I’ve worked for superb managers like this in the past and I’m lucky to have a new one who I know is just the same – money and opportunity are important, but being a HUMAN employer is invaluable,” someone wrote.

Unsplash
Source:
Unsplash

Of course, there were voices that disagreed and commented on the importance of discipline over flexibility at work.

But it’s nice to see that the general trend is really towards a more humane kind of management.

What do you think of her management style when it comes to empathy?

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

Share this article
By Irene Markianou
hi@sbly.com
Irene Markianou is a contributor at SBLY Media.
Advertisement
Advertisement