We who've accrued more power during COVID must push work culture toward sanity
It can be fun and simple, and you don't even have to leave your job
Many of us who (so far) have survived the pandemic with our jobs and family intact find ourselves with unprecedented leverage that probably won’t last long. We have a duty to pay it forward while we can.
The antiwork internet has covered pressuring Kellogg’s, or just generally making it a resolution to leave your employer in the lurch for a better job, forcing them to hire someone else at a nice wage.
But let’s say you consider your job decent enough, and don’t want to leave. You can still help in even smaller ways.
I’ve found myself taking job interviews I have no intention of accepting and:
Asking if they’re remote, then removing myself as soon as they say they’re not
Leading with the work-life balance questions job recruiters tell you to never ask, then citing their unsatisfactory platitudes when I turn down the offer
Most corporate managers are fickle and spineless, and they’re really spooked right now. Just two or three unpleasant interview experiences could be enough to change internal practices at a company, and critical mass may happen faster than we think.
In a way, it already happened with remote work. But why stop there? Why not correct the embarrassing practice of celebrating work-humping values?
Take the screenshot below, from the “about” page of an ad agency (an industry already notoriously work-humpy) called Public Label.
If any of you are remotely qualified for any of their job openings, you should apply and ask why they brag to prospective clients about their workforce getting suboptimal sleep and compensating through caffeine. Do they think that’s cool? Noble? It’s not even good for creativity!
Culture sets behavior, and if we can get companies to cut it out, there’s a chance the culture shift can spread past white collar spaces.
Frontline workers are out there striking and putting their livelihood on the line. The least we cushy office dwellers can do is raise our standards for what’s acceptable on our end, not letting employers think that these demands are just from “entitled” “low-skilled” (what a joke of a term that is) workers.
They need to know we’re all, together, sick of this shit.