Free Press Journal

Working It Out: Agony Aunt answers on how to deal with negative work environment


Dr Anjali Chhabria, Psychiatrist and founder of Mindtemple, Mumbai, answers queries related to problems faced at work place

Negative work environment

I have been working in this company for the past 10 months and now most of the employees are leaving as my boss is really rude to everybody and he also seems to be against increasing our salaries. I suddenly feel that I should leave too as the work environment is very negative at the moment.  However, if I leave the job then there would be no income and I have to take care of my parents, wife and children. I have EMIs to pay and even a home loan that is a major chunk of my salary. I am paranoid that I want be able to get a job soon and meanwhile I will utilize all my savings which is not a good thing. What should I do?

Ans: You need to plan your career in a way that you get your step ahead and but also feel the financial safety at the same time. It makes no sense that you keep up with unjust at work only for financial security but at the same time there is not monitory growth here. Begin with searching for another job first that is better paying and a progressing step ahead for you. You do not need to quit before you get another better option in your work. You can confirm with the new company and the give in your papers here, this way you will not feel uneasy to quit as your finances are secured as well as you’ll get a break out from your stuck up job. It may take little long for you to find the suitable job and meanwhile you can either be ignorant about the unfair means in the office or if you can manage try to alter the situation as much as possible to suit you, but do not go on a guilt trip that just because other are leaving and you can’t yourself worth is anything less than theirs. Everyone has different priorities in life and you cannot always follow the crowd you have to plan your life ahead in a way that is comfortable for you.

Communication problem

I am a business man of a small private company. However, I am not that good with my communication skills and that demoralizes me. I get scared to delegate duties and I have a weird feeling that they will make fun of me and will not respect me as a boss. My business is not running smoothly and there are lots of efficiency issues. I want to solve them, but I am not confident enough to take the first step. What do I do?   

Ans: It problem is not you skills of language but the problem is your communication skills and leadership quality. You will not be able to resolve the problem unless you get the right insight into it first. You need to develop these skills and you can do this by enroll into some business school or a course. Also the underlying issue is you confidence, as a boos you need to be sure of what you expect your employees to do and accordingly delegate and also most important feedback on their work so they know what you are expecting of them. You may have all the talent start up your business but the essential role is to run it successful and dealing with employees is the key.

Generation gap

I am working in an organization for the past few years and I am also the oldest employee working in the organization. Recently, quite a few young people have joined the organization and they have a very casual attitude. I do not like the way they behave amongst each other and I do correct them. However, off late I have noticed that the atmosphere in the office is very negative towards me. What do I do? I cannot change the way I am and I really cannot ignore everything that is going around the office that is unacceptable. 

Ans: This is called the generation gap, with the changing times people change too and the young employees are showing their new attitude towards work and colleagues which is bound to be very different from your ideology. Different does not necessarily mean it’s wrong. It’s just the way you see the sky as blue and they might see it as white, both have different view but both can be right in their own places. if you really want to bring in the change in them and correct them avoid being authoritative, rather be with them than against them. be as friendly, accepting and  non-judgmental as you can be, that will make them become emotionally close to you and that can help them to become more vulnerable to any changes you are suggesting for them. Especially if your advice is followed calmly right after they have experienced something unpleasant. Unnecessary advise will be looked upon as interference but if you give you valuable inputs at the time it’s needed out of your experience that will make an impression for long.