Why Authenticity is Rarely Seen in the Workplace 0 203

Why Authenticity is Rarely Seen in the Workplace

Honesty is the best policy is an old but well-known proverb. It certainly is and a lot of people believe it. People will always appreciate the honesty of another.

However, the truth is uncomfortable to talk about, especially when you’re in an office set up. Business relationships are always built in a way where you need to put on a false persona. You need to save face and most of the time you have to hide who you really are.

Many professionals have to put up with this because authenticity in the workplace is something that can’t be easily achieved. No matter what your background is, the cold and honest (ironic huh?) truth remains that you have to hide your real persona.

Being authentic at work might trigger other people. You will be the target of envy, of scorn, and you will be an outcast.

Why Authenticity is Rarely Seen in the Workplace
Why Authenticity is Rarely Seen in the Workplace

What now?

So what does freedom in work actually mean? Does it mean having a pantry filled with things that you can eat at your own leisure? Does it mean having a dress code that allows you to come into the office while your favorite hoodie and sweatpants?

This is true for some people but to many others, it means being able to bring out who they truly are without having to fear to be an outcast. It means that’s they can simply be themselves. The question now presents itself, how do we achieve this for everyone?

We are all made up of layers

In this age, if you don’t act like other people or do what other people do, then you are already a target for scorn. Your unique perspective and actions aren’t really accepted by corporations and businesses.

People who come from the LGBTQ+ community or married individuals who choose not to have children may find that even the simplest of questions could open up a hazardous path leading to awkward office conversations. These people may be forced to answer a question that they don’t want to answer.

Questions like “when do you plan on having kids?” or “are you really gay?” are inquiries that people who fall under the spectrum of being ‘different’ have to deal with every day.  And honestly, it can get very tiring after a while.

Even if you aren’t technically hiding your sexual orientation, people will always still want you to magically conform to the norms of society. They may be thinking that asking questions like this might magically make you change your mind on whatever you’ve already set your heart on. To be honest, this never works.

The Global Head of Culture & Inclusion at Twilio, LaFawn Davis says that “We are all intersectional, meaning all have layers with which we identify. There can also be negative and long-term impact on intersectional technologists from expending the energy to determine whether or not all their layers will be welcomed or excluded”

Why Authenticity is Rarely Seen in the Workplace
Why Authenticity is Rarely Seen in the Workplace

The Pressure to Cover

In day to day office conversations, a non-conforming person may find themselves straining their minds. They are always burdened because they are always trying to think of ways to communicate with other co-workers without offending any of them.

An example of this would be, someone who does not have any interest in the importance of marriage or relationships in general. This person would have to find a way to explain that they are not interested in other people without offending the inquirer. In some cases, the non-conformist will have to evade the question altogether.

In tow with evading a conversation, individuals who find themselves in this type of situation commonly resort to talking about another co-worker. Not from ill intent, but from the perspective that this would be the only way to change the topic.

Of course, this is easier said than done. For the non-conformist, it would be hardly able to shake off the innate feeling of wanting to be different. One could not simply toss aside the feeling of being authentic. But, to talk about taboo things in the office would only lead to more complications.

Research shows that the act of ‘covering’, or the act of someone downplaying their differences from the norm actually affects the workforce badly. 3000 employees in over 20 large US firms had a turnout of 61% of employees that had faced implicit pressure to cover up their true selves in some way. While 50% of employees said that the pressure had disappeared because of their commitment to the company.

However, this practice still has a negative effect on people. This practice hinders the performance of the workers, and it could drain the individual in the process. Covering is also seen as a leading cause of attrition, with over 1000 casualties in companies.

Why Authenticity is Rarely Seen in the Workplace
Why Authenticity is Rarely Seen in the Workplace

Lead with Empathy

The best solution to this persistent problem is to develop safer and friendlier environments for people who fall under the spectrum of ‘non-conforming’. Leading with empathy includes implementing inclusive values, such as respecting an individual’s preferred pronouns.

To an employee, the people with the most influence are their supervisors. Once their team managers make them feel like their needs are acknowledged and that they’ve established that they are in a safe zone, then these individuals will feel less of an outcast and less likely to leave the company. Authentic concern for employees always produces good results, whether or not they are classified into the minority.

Supervisors must also strive to lead by example. Once someone from a higher position starts setting a new norm, their subordinates will start picking up on the habit. If everyone in the company starts being their true to themselves without having to hide behind a mask, then the company can slowly become a safe and conducive environment.

Being ‘authentic’ in this world is a hard feat to accomplish, but staying open and humble in a conversation helps in trying to make authenticity become the new norm. There is no single answer to the existing problem but if leaders lead with bravery and trust, they are sure to herd the industry into the right path.

How to Create a Culture of Collaboration.

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Having Good Friends at Work Makes Everything Better 0 149

Having Good Friends at Work Makes Everything Better

Making friends is something that we’ve all been trained to do ever since childhood. In kindergarten, our parents often ask us to be good and to make friends with the other children in the playground.  This is probably one of the most important things that you need to learn if you want to succeed in life.

You wouldn’t feel comfortable borrowing a pen or paper from the person next to you if you aren’t friends with that person in the first place. You can’t ask for a raise if you aren’t on friendly terms with your boss. And you can’t get married if you can’t even find a partner.

To survive the jungle that is life, you need companionship, you need other people. They say that no man is an island – this is a very accurate statement.

But why make friends at work?

You might ask yourself, “Is it necessary for me to make friends in the workplace?” You might even think to yourself that you already have enough friends outside of your career, so why would you need more?

To be honest, you didn’t sign up for that job offer to build connections with your coworkers. But being in friendly terms with your coworkers brings you a lot of perks. Studies have shown that working with people you like will help you gain power throughout the day. Studies also show that these people will help increase your productivity as well. Sweet deal, right?

If you’re one of the people who say that friends at work are one of the most important factors to having a happy working life, then you’re not alone. 70% of employees say that this is true for them as well. This makes making friends a lot easier. With like-minded individuals, you’ll be sure to spot someone who you’ll instantly connect within no time. Some people go even as far as saying that they would refuse a higher paying job if it means not getting along with their colleagues.

Having Good Friends at Work Makes Everything Better
Having Good Friends at Work Makes Everything Better

But I don’t think I need friends at work!

Still not convinced huh? Well…

Data shows that one out of every three adults meets at least one of their closest friends at work. Having good company while working makes you feel happy and a lot more productive.

Eating alone is deemed to be a sad practice. Did you know that there is a 25% increase in morale and productivity when you’re given a larger lunch table to eat with your colleagues? After all, food does put you in a good mood. Use this advantage to your advantage and build positive relationships with the people you’ll be working with.

Having a best friend at work also improves the probability of staying in that company for a very long time.  After all you’ll have someone you can trust to watch your back.

But there’s more!

The benefits don’t just end there. People who have a best friend at work are more likely to receive praises and they have a higher chance of being promoted as well. They also have a higher commitment to quality.

Because of this, they start developing a higher sense of consideration for constructive criticism, making them work harder to be the best that they can be.  These are actually things that can help make your career grow.

Having friends at work can also help you lead other people

Managers should start actively participating and encouraging the building of office relationships to ensure that happiness levels at the office are kept at the optimum level. Activities such as team buildings and office small talk prove to be useful in strengthening friendships between team members. Supervisors can also join in on the talk, to help ease the tension in the office and to establish that they aren’t just there as a body to reprimand them when they make mistakes. Establishing that even supervisors can be human can help build trust between the team and its managers.

Even a few minutes of chitchat over coffee during breaks will help you foster better relationships. This will lead you to have the drive of improving your performance, and improving your career.

Yes, even non-work related banter is considered to be a big help. If you have problems striking up a conversation with other people, try thinking of things that you both mutually know, you can try talking about food or the current events.

You could even try giving your coworker a compliment or two. Do not think too much about what you’re going to say and just let words flow naturally.

Having Good Friends at Work Makes Everything Better
Having Good Friends at Work Makes Everything Better

Don’t give up!

Friendship is a two-way road. If the person you’re talking to doesn’t seem interested in your friendship. Then don’t worry. They might just be having a bad day, or they might not have gotten enough sleep the day before. Try again another day, or with another person. If they still don’t feel like being friends with you, then it’s okay. It’s their loss. You still have the rest of the company anyway!

Finding yourself in a good mood will greatly affect how you go on about doing your daily tasks. Even the most difficult tasks seem a bit lighter when a good company joins you. Productivity is always seen as a good thing in the office. The more work is done, the happier your bosses will be.

Don’t Worry, Be Happy!

A happier “you” can make people around you happier as well. Muse writer Kaitlyn Russell goes on to explain that the friendlier you are with the people you see every day, the happier you’ll be. Remember that happiness is actually something that can infect the people you work with. You end up more open-minded about challenges that your boss presents to you, and you get to collaborate even better with your workmates.

Just be happy!


Workdays can be long and exhausting. Deadlines here, deadlines there, deadlines everywhere!  But, don’t let that get you down.  If you made friends with your coworkers, then there will always be people that you can rely on.

Your friends will help you get back on your feet when you feel like a failure. Don’t be afraid to summon the 4-year-old in you and make friends with people.  If you can’t do that, then you’ll most likely end up alone and without allies. If you want success, then you need connections. Period.

How To Work Hard Without Sacrificing Your Sanity 0 175

How To Work Hard Without Sacrificing Your Sanity

Companies idealize hard work and some even promise that you get compensated well without sacrificing your sanity.  But let’s be honest here, ok.  In the modern world, we know better. Most of us know that a lot of things are fake and that it’s hard to keep it real. In short, it’s hard to be authentic.

We eat more than we need. We buy overpriced coffee because of the brand. We buy cool looking t-shirts that we hardly ever use, and we waste our time watching mindless movies. Society dictates that we must keep a certain image.

Yes, you might be following the trends, but deep inside you feel empty. Deep inside, you feel you are a fraud.

The “more is more” lifestyle

You may be familiar with the “more is more” lifestyle. The more we have the better we are.  We often apply this lifestyle to our work as well. We clock in at the earliest possible time, then we work ourselves to death until we go crazy! In fact, people who sacrifice their lives are often branded as star employees!

I’m not telling you that this lifestyle is bad. In fact, if you keep working like this, you’ll eventually earn more money than your coworkers. However, your coworkers would probably be happier and healthier than you. Is that a good tradeoff?

Well if you don’t like to live like this, then I have good news for you. You can still be a hard worker and keep your sanity. You can work hard all day and do overtime without losing sight of who you are. You can even be successful and still be a nice guy (but that’s for another article).

So what’s your point?

What I’m trying to say here is that you can enjoy work even if you’re constantly on overtime. You don’t have to be fake, you can be who you are.

Of course, you still have to do your job well and impress your boss. Here are some tips and tricks to help maintain your sanity.

  1. Learn when to say “No”

Don’t be a Yes man/ Yes woman. Your friend might ask for help on their project. You really want to help them but you’re also burdened by projects as well. Some people would sacrifice their own time and work to help a friend out. Sure, you’ll be a good friend when you help them out but you’ll probably be reprimanded for not doing your job.

If you sacrifice yourself, then you’re going to miss deadlines and produce shoddy work. You may even lose your job for it!

Don’t be a martyr. Prioritize yourself before helping others. Remember that you can’t really help people out if you can’t even help yourself.

  1. Learn when to say “Yes”

After learning when to say “No”, you have to learn when to say “Yes”. To be more precise, you should know when you should help people out.

When you lend a helping hand, you are providing value to your colleagues. People will rely on you more, and your boss might see potential in you.  If you help people regularly, then you will most likely be put in a leadership role.

That means you’ll be spending more time managing people and less time doing menial labor.

  1. Take small breaks from time to time

Yes, this might seem pretty obvious but you’ll be surprised to see that most people don’t even take breaks when they’re stressed out. This is a recipe for disaster.

If you think that you’ve had enough, then STOP. Don’t think about the consequences, don’t think about your schedule, and don’t think about getting fired. Just STOP. Let go and take a break.

Once you’ve calmed down, then get back to work. You’ll find out that you’re more productive and more likely to get the job done.

  1. Focus

One of the reasons why you’re taking too long would be because you aren’t focused enough. I often waste my time replying to useless email and surfing on the internet. I know that it’s a bad habit but sometimes it helps me think that I’m being productive.

Well, to tell you the truth, I was only using it as an excuse to slack off and not do my job.

If you want to stay as sane as possible, then you have to do your job as quickly as possible.

  1. Be active during meetings

You miss a lot when you’re not paying attention. If you fail to ask questions or be passive during meetings, then things really won’t go your way.

You can express your concerns, your opinions, and even your feelings during meetings. You might not get what you want all the time but there’s a slight chance that you might have your way.

Get out there and be active.

  1. Keep contact with your boss from time to time

Most workers fear their employer. In fact, some employees do whatever they can to avoid talking to their boss.  And when they do meet their boss, they usually nod in affirmation and agree with everything that their boss says. If you’re doing this, then let me tell you one thing. You’re making a huge mistake.

Sure, you’ll feel less awkward and less pressured but you’re also sacrificing your productivity as well. You need to meet regularly with your boss and contact them from time to time. This is very important because you’ll be more informed to get the job done.

You will finish your work faster if you ask for your boss’s opinion and advice. And you will have good relations with your boss as well. Don’t let the fear of interacting with your boss get in the way of your productivity.


Well, those are some tips and tricks to help keep your sanity during work. Going crazy is a big no-no. Sure, it may be hard to keep your sanity if you’re missing tons of deadlines but if you know how to deal with it, then you can minimize the damage.

Remember that these are just tips and tricks. The best way to keep your sanity while working is to prioritize your well-being first. Eat healthily, sleep as much as you can, and exercise regularly.

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