How toxic can work culture get? In America, we work harder for less, and we are damn proud of it... sometimes.
yocallmewill asked Redditors of America: What do you hate the most about your work culture?
Submissions have been edited for clarity, context, and profanity.
Too many hours, too little work.
The fact that if I can get all of my work done in 6 hours or less, but if I leave early, I'm considered lazy. Someone else can spend 9-10 hours milking the clock doing the same work, but they get recognition for "being such a hard worker," because of all their overtime. We were paid hourly btw, so I was actually saving the company money by working harder and faster.
I already called this out. They say people perform better within the first 4 hours of work, 8 hours is too long. I have ADHD, stretching time out will make me work slower or I'll lose what I'm doing. I don't have high levels of dopamine in my brain and thus I have to do stuff in a rush to get it done. It's more than just procrastination, it's how my brain actually works. Telling me to stop what I'm doing and work to stretch the day out will make me perform worse and why would you want that? I work better with deadlines. Always have and always will. Deal with it. Companies need to understand this.
Worker benefits are my kink.
The taboo cultivated by management, and often perpetuated by employees themselves to their own detriment, against discussing compensation and other issues related to working conditions.
Only one entity benefits when workers can't or don't share information about pay, benefits, or workplace issues -- and it's not the workers.
Many companies have policies against discussing wages but they can't legally forbid it or punish you for it according to the 1935 Labor Relations Act.
Oh, I'm very much aware that it's illegal to sanction employees for failing to adhere to this norm they have manufactured... that's why corporate management has to work so tirelessly at convincing employees that the taboo is of the employees' own making and to their own benefit.
And I'll add that although this type of practice is extremely common in corporate environments, it tends to be transmitted via office culture and other informal mechanisms. If you, or anyone else, has encountered companies that have written or formal policies preventing their employees from sharing this type of information, that's something the NLRB would really like to know about, because it's not only illegal to punish employees for this conduct, it's also illegal to even have policies prohibiting it.
Sick people around food - great idea.
When I worked at a restaurant I hated that you were a slacker for calling in sick and you got "points" for it. Even though you are legally obligated to call-out sick if you work in the food industry. Basically you're penalized for following proper food safety laws.
This has been the case in every restaurant I worked in.
Always always always have diarrhea. Regardless of what's going on, you have diarrhea.
Quitting jobs is a necessary step toward success.
The only way to advance your professional career anymore is to quit and go elsewhere. It really f*cking sucks. Most big companies do regular wage freezes when their profits aren't big enough, have "flattened" their hierarchy so it's rare to find positions to move into, and would rather bring in external candidates who already have tons of experience than to train and promote people who have been with the company and want to move up. And if you do get promoted? Your bump in salary is going to be waaaaay less than if you were hired from externally for that same position.
As an engineer, the way to maximize your salary is to change jobs every 3-5 years. Loyalty is a determent to your profession. Sh*t, I hired an external person just to try to raise the wages of the rest of my employees because it demonstrated the complete disconnect in pay from external hires.
Stop giving away your time.
They count how many hours I take off for vacation and sick time, to the minute, but never bother to track the time I spend coming in early, staying late or working over the weekend.
never bother to track the time I spend coming in early, staying late or working over the weekend
You should stop doing those things.
Never truly being "off."
Technology means you can call, text, email, bbm, slack, etc. regardless of where I am or what I'm doing. There is no turning off / being disconnected.
I literally ignore all the texts and calls that come in. I'm not on-call. If you wanted me to work, schedule me more. If you're short on hours because god forbid somebody call in sick, then its the company's fault for not giving you more payroll and hours to work with.
Decades ago, people thought that technology would increase our leisure time. But no, f*ck no.
We work too much.
Life imbalance. Give me Monday-Thursday 7-6. Or hell drop it down to a 32 hour workweek.
Let me live a little before I die. Don't make it so impossible to take a week off and go hiking.
My dream is a standard work-week of three 10's, and we go to a six day "business" week.
That way we all get to keep more than half the week to ourselves, and we all have three days a week to do our shopping and errands--no more going to the bank on your lunch-break.
Time off means time off.
A general expectation in salary is that you'll keep working after you leave the office. For f*cks sake, we have people here who took a week off for vacation due to the holidays and they're still working from wherever they are. They're actively using PTO days and working anyway.
I just make it known that when I'm out for a PTO day or vacation, you will be 100% unable to reach me. Don't even try. Nearly 7 years and it hasn't been an issue yet.
I took a 2.5 week vacation a couple months ago. I got one email that I had to answer.
I CC'd my boss on it and ended the email with
Regards from [city, country 9000 miles away]
I also sent it as Urgent and at 3:15 am home time (3:15 pm local)
My boss and colleagues got the hint.
Lack of trust.
How superficial we all are because it's a professional setting. Its hard to open up to people out of fear they will use personal info against me. It's been done before. Its unfortunate. I hate the office paradigm we are in.
You're 100% right. There's something about an office setting that brings out the most back-stabby, petty parts of people.
Work to live; don't live to work.
That we're expected to put work above everydamnthing thing else or we "don't care about our job." I care about my job.
But I also care about my relationship, my hobbies, getting healthcare that I need, my friendships, having a reasonably clean home with food in it, my pets.....
If I so much as hint at wanting more time for any of those things (and granted some are higher priority than others) I'm NOT DEDICATED.
I work what's supposed to be 9-6. It's usually 7 or 8 to 730 or 8. I walked around for over a month with a tooth cracked clean in two that hurt like hell and then got infected because "we're too short to let anyone off" and if I'd called in it would have been an attendance write up because I "obviously didn't care about the team".
I do care about the "team" but I also care about not dying of infection.
When work owns you.
Lack of vacation time. The fact that we can't work at home when most of our job is done on a computer. The fact that we have to use our limited vacation time for weather events like snow or hurricanes. The fact that someone has to be at the office on holidays for "what ifs" that never occur.
> The fact that we can't work at home when most of our job is done on a computer.
I'm a purchasing agent. I use ZERO paper, I need zero face to face time, all my communication is done via email or phone. Why THE F*CK do I need to dress up and sit in cubicle for that?
Not just lack of vacation time, but the implicit pressure not to use it because it anyway, especially if you're at the point where you have 3+ weeks accrued.
Picking up other people's slack.
When your coworkers laziness becomes your problem.
I'm a detailer at a car dealership. Just yesterday I was told I'd have to also do a quick wash of an interior only detail because the porters forget sometimes. But I wouldn't be paid for that extra time it takes me. (I work flat rate).
Had that conversation once when I was a grocery clerk.
"Rinnaul, can you go around and make sure the bathrooms are clean?"
"That was J's assignment this morning."
"Well, sometimes he doesn't get it done, so you need to go behind him and make sure it's done."
...what's he getting paid for, then?
My response is always "great, can I have their salary too?"
This is by far the worst part about it. I work Parts at a Dealership and I'm constantly having to keep the place together when others decide to slack off. That joke of "If you're good at your job you get to do other's jobs too" is far too real.
The whole 9-5 but not really 9-5 thing.
The 9-5 work day as a rule. My work deals largely with a time zone 2 hours ahead of mine. I could feasibly work from 7-3 and be even more productive than I am now but my company won't allow it because "everyone works 9-5." As a result my commute is long as hell meaning I have to leave the house around 7:45 and don't get back until 6-6:30. If I could move my schedule up two hours that commute is cut in half and I have way more time off.
I'd settle for "9-5" actually meaning 9:00am to 5:00pm.
Not being allowed to get sick. WTF?
Lots of companies combine paid time off for vacation & time of for illness. Don't you dare get sick. If you do, it's coming out of your vacation time. So everyone comes to work sick to hold onto their precious 15 days accrued annually which makes everybody else in the office sick. You end up with an office filled with people who feel like crap but have to keep working or they can't take longer vacations.
And yet they continuously say that if you're sick it's just better to stay home. I'd love to, but they've made it so that's not feasible.
Basically, all of the following.
Tough question, there are so many to choose from. I'd say how little f*cks companies are able to give about employee work life balance and personal happiness. I hate that we never get any time off even when we're lucky enough to have jobs where you technically get it. I hate that nobody balks when companies start demanding your personal time outside of work for free. I hate that they demand we pretend to have a deep abiding passion for our company's mission when we all know deep down what our company does is trivial bullshit that really doesn't add anything to human civilization, or in some cases is actively negative and predatory but just not illegal because it's so profitable. I hate that we're supposed to give two weeks notice to leave on good terms but it's perfectly acceptable to just lay us off without a minute's notice. I hate the obsession Americans have with being busy, like having a lot of stuff to do somehow gives their lives meaning. I hate that our corporate laws allow owners of companies to be divorced from moral responsibility for the acts of the companies they own and profit from.
The busy thing is too true. We call it being a busyholic. Someone who is always so "busy" with things to do but never seems to actually accomplish anything. I've grown to hate the term busy because it's almost become in style to be busy all the time and no one is actually as busy as they tell you they are (and they LOVE telling you about how busy they are).