It’s not a family business, it’s a business, family.

POV: You are starting your next working day, convincing yourself that you are ‘all in this together’

As no longer working from an office has proved, home workers are putting in more hours than ever. According to research, the UK’s work from home force is putting in almost 25% extra work a week — I read it in the guardian, say no more.

Working hard is no bad thing. It is clearly crucial for success, personal and otherwise. Working in a team is also important. Building together is important. The bad thing: the deepening sense of personal responsibility for your company’s success inflicted on the individual and the corresponding work culture that is humming and bubbling beneath.

Why has the toleration for this ‘family business’ narrative increased so much during this period? Why is no one talking about it?

*desperately shows gratitude for being employed*

Acknowledging the privilege of having a job is one thing. Those employed, including myself, accept and appreciate that. However, owing every waking moment to the fear of being made redundant, feeling like you are letting someone down, or even having a deep-set emotional response to work is taxing, and actually — wrong.

I’ve heard of companies putting pressure on individuals under the guise of ‘we are all in it together’, whilst said individuals are working at home, alone and harder than ever. This is an offensive use of the term ‘togetherness’. Do not get me wrong, I am here for ‘togetherness’, I am here for working in a team, working hard, and helping each other out, but where do we draw the line?

It is ok to ask what your companies are doing for you, without being selfish and without being labelled ‘entitled’ or ‘they owe you one’. They don’t. They are a business. But — so are you. It’s not ok for you to be made to feel like you are a part of a family business, by companies that you do not have shares in and that employ you to do a job, especially when it’s so far from being reciprocated financially. This is not some eff you piece to the workplace, at all, nor is it an eff you to working hard as a team. This is a piece about understanding when that balance is off and rectifying it.

Here are some things that might be useful in getting that balance right. Let me know if there’s anything to add — fully open to suggestions and comments.

  1. Get Business savvy.

You are your most important business, so conduct yourself like one. Understand what you have to offer, what your strengths and weaknesses are, how you structure your day to day, what your priorities are, and where you want to go and what structures are in place in your working environment that you can use to record your progress and grow.

This looks like recording conversations, making sure you have diarised appraisals, completing self-evaluation forms, asking the right questions to aid your progression, ‘How do I..’and asking for and securing mentorship where possible.

2. Money Talks

Once you know your value, it will be easier to navigate yourself in the world of finance. Good hard work should always be rewarded, provided there is a business reason deserving of it. So understand what business reasons relate and where your value lies. Investment should always be matched with investment. That is the bottom line.

You are there to do your job and to do it well (that includes working hard, don’t mistake me here).

3. Take Note

You can’t argue with fact. So make notes.

4. Ask for help

Sometimes we need help, we need to flag when things are too much, or not working. So be accountable for this and know who to ask. If your workload is too much, this is a resourcing issue, and not your fault. However you do have to raise it as a concern.

5. Be kind

To yourself and people around you. You know more than anyone that you remember how people made you feel, more than what they said.

(side note; being strong and direct doesn’t mean you don’t have heart, don’t let anyone take that from you, yes gals, I mean us)

Hope this helps.

Love

The Nasty Poet x

Poet. Writer. Creative.