Beware the employer suddenly interested in your “wellbeing”

Comment on Guardian article, pertinent to the current situation of less people doing more work.

“At my last job, there was a sudden uptick in the company’s interest in things like sleeping patterns and mental health. Obviously the more switched-on people reacted with mounting worry (what were they about to do to us?), but it got really sinister when we were introduced to an online system which could help us ‘keep track’ of our fitness and stress management regimes. Not, of course, compulsory (they don’t dare go that far yet) but it was framed as an amazing indication of how much the company cared about us.

I recall asking the person who was taking us through this exactly who was keeping hold of this very intimate personal data, where it went and what was done with it (some of the fine print suggested outsourcing) – they could not give me an answer to that and seemed uncomfortable that it had been asked, which was a dead giveaway. Needless to say, before I left the corporate clouds were gathering – job responsibility creep had started, people were getting looked at askance for not having picked up an email over the weekend, the cottage industry in oversight was the only one expanding…

Never, ever forget that your relationship with your employer is purely transactional. They are renting your time , labour and expertise and you owe them nothing more than what you have mutually contractually agreed to. Don’t let them put themselves in any other relationship to you than that – they are not your friend, they are not your parent and they are certainly not anyone who has any business being interested in your inner life. That’s the way to avoid job stress.”

One thought on “Beware the employer suddenly interested in your “wellbeing”

  1. In over 3 years of employment, some employers were nicer than others, but I can genuinely say that never once did any employer demonstrate in any way that they were my friend. As the last paragraph says, employment is a purely business transaction, and you are best off treating it as such.

    P.S. Same goes for most colleagues. Unless you have a genuine friendship, do not consider colleagues to be friends that will put loyalty to you before loyalty to their employer.


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