Being yourself @ work

Why being yourself at work will destroy capitalism: a theory


I believe there used to be a time when being yourself at work was considered ridiculous, distasteful and possibly revolutionary – a real threat to the order of the workplace and the hierarchies within.

There. Were. Boundaries. And most people needed to stick to them. Those that didn’t were those right at the top. The executives, the super executives, the ultimate executives – you get the point. They could be themselves as much as they wanted to; if they were challenged they’d just remove that person.

What happened?

Apparently the average worker got ‘disaffected’,’disengaged’ and started doing the bare minimum. Productivity dipped, creativity stalled and there was less of a slush fund for senior, senior people to party their days away. They could barely get their workers to stay alert through their coffee break let alone 3-hour long meetings.

It was okay at first – there were only a few people involved, but when it became close to the entire workforces of entire organisations doing the bare minimum, grumbling for much of the day and causing all manner of chaos on social media sites, executives started to panic. They summoned the elite management gurus who delivered a solution … tell everyone to be themselves. Yes. Be your ‘authentic’ self at work. You’ll be respected, you can contribute to the workplace and it will improve your ‘wellbeing’. Not being yourself at work was deemed stressful and linked to all manner of unhealthy pursuits and a huge number of sick days.

‘So what?’ you say, ‘so people get to be themselves at work and are happy to be creative again. What’s wrong with that?’  Well, we are starting to see what ‘bringing yourself to work’ really means. You see, most of us can’t even be  ourselves at home – we have to negotiate space with loved ones and others just to get some peace and quiet. So it is pretty revolutionary for workplaces to ask us to please be ourselves – even our parents can barely tolerate that!

So now, in the workplace we have:

  • powerful personalities that no one can control;
  • difficult people that no one can sack;
  • people feeling they know how to run things in the company – they select stats to show that their strategic plan will be best thus rendering execs obsolete.
  • people who put together a business plan because they genuinely felt it would work, being upset when it is rejected, and doing it anyway.

Apart from the above, many of these organisations that introduced the ‘be yourself initiative’ did not have a flat  structure – why pay Bob $10000000 to be a super exec,  when Jane, Marshall and Timmy have all come up with equally good (relatively speaking) Gantt charts and action plans and they only get paid $11 an hour.

Once employers give us permission to be ourselves, they are basically rendering all that social conditioning and parental guidance obsolete! So I raise my glass to all those who are themselves at work and I encourage more people to do the same.

P.S. That said. Being yourself at work in terms of being LGBTIQ+ is super cool, so yay to employers who have genuinely allowed us to be ourselves.



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