Finding Solidarity in the Workplace

Finding Solidarity in the Workplace

By Chelsea A. Flowers

 Photo by monkeybusinessimages/iStock / Getty Images

Photo by monkeybusinessimages/iStock / Getty Images

Finding Solidarity in the Workplace

By Chelsea A. Flowers

 

The past week and a half was a tumultuous one; senseless acts of violence occurred. An innocent life was lost. And we received little reassurance of our safety from those at the federal level. I’m sure at this point you’ve seen the footage, read the headlines, and watched the interviews. If you feel how I feel, an uneasiness has settled over you.

In dire times I turn to comedy to ease my anxiety. I give my thanks to: "The Daily Show," "Saturday Night Live," "The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon" and "Desus and Mero" (on Viceland), just to name a few sources of great comedic cathartic relief.

I strongly suggest engaging in these resources on your own personal time, for they are hilarious and you will probably get no work done if you tried to enjoy them during the work day. So how can you ensure your emotional well being inside of the work place? How do you find, or even ask for solidarity with others in a work environment? You do not want to be the radical person interrupting the workflow, but an office is an environment, it’s your community and you should feel safe enough to address these issues in your community.

First, to take on this objective, you should be aware and willing to make yourself vulnerable in the workplace. Sharing anxieties and concerns is a big feat, but a necessary one. There are good chances that you are not the only one that feels that same type of way. Harvard psychologist Shawn Achor states “The people who survive stress the best are the ones who actually increase their social investments in the middle of stress." The following suggestions are steps towards finding emotional well being at work and finding solidarity with others:  

  1. Sensitivity is key. When tackling any challenge that deals with personal material, sensitivity is always needed. Talk with your Human Resources rep to see what the company policy is on discussing personal material in the workplace.

  2. Start some sort of group. It can be a discussion group that meets at lunch, or takes ten minutes to walk and talk during lunch time. The group can take any form your group sees fit, with the importance that people know they can find solidarity with each other. That they have a safe place to share concerns, discuss current issues, share articles and books that were socially relevant or inspiring.

  3. Be transparent when finding solidarity in the workplace. Transparency and clear communication is important when it comes to being inclusive and stopping rumors. The group is meant for anyone who has similar concerns. The goal is to lessen animosity at work, not create more by not being inclusive.

  4. Listen to each other. Really listen, that is how trust is built and healing occurs.  

  5. Remember to have fun. The group is there to share concerns, but you do not need to leave the group and return to work with feelings of dread, so try to end a meet up on a positive note.   

It’s easy to be goal driven and only focus on work in the workplace, but remember that your work is a community that you should feel comfortable in. Find solidarity with co-workers when you have concerns. You do not have to be a radical, but you can make your environment and the environment of those around a little bit better.

 

http://digitalcommons.ilr.cornell.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1773&context=articles

http://time.com/collection/guide-to-happiness/4860105/work-burnout-prevention/  

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/7-practices-increase-social-connection-workplace-dimity-podger