If you are sitting at a desk in an open plan office, take thirty seconds to look left and right and think about those around you. It is likely your workplace has experienced one of the following recently; merger, redundancy, restructure or a significant cut in hours for many staff. While this plays on your mind look a little further and you’ll see one cheerful so and so who is happily whistling away; seemingly letting the whole situation wash over them. Should the current landscape of jobs and work place culture make us more stressed or more determined to succeed? And is the key to coping with recession, recalibrating our measurement of success and happiness?
During the economic downturn the constant worry of job security coupled with increased work load means job satisfaction is at an all-time low, while for others their worst fears have been realised- they have been made redundant and are left feeling lost. So what does success look like now? It must be completely different for companies who have moved from having 20 to 5 staff working to achieve the same outcomes and for those who have been on the receiving end of the cuts. Business management has got to change to meet the unfortunate demands of the recession as do our individual goals and expectations- success depends on what we do next.
Business managers will have to come up with new avenues of income, figure out how to work with finite resources, try to keep stress levels down and job satisfaction up as well as thinking creatively about how to reach key performance indicators with a reduced workforce. Communication is vital as well as recognising targets will need to be recalculated and skills enhanced to bolster remaining employees. After all work pressure is not simply a measure of the demands of work but also encompasses an individual’s capacity to meet these demands. This recalibration will not only help a company survive but develop a new culture of frugality, community and more streamlined processes.
Of course when energies are focused in the same direction, a company is at its strongest. So what about the remaining workforce that bears the brunt of these changes? Recession makes people fearful, nervous, depressed and stressed but by accepting your work life has been impacted you may be able to benefit your own wellbeing. Analysing how to tackle this new landscape can decrease stress, anxiety and stop you forcing yourself to work longer hours in order to pick up the slack. While you may not be able to control what happens with the economy, you can control your own destiny with your mental focus.
How could you adapt your goals in the recession? The posts may have moved but it doesn’t mean you can’t reach them but it may take longer or involve a different route. How have your expectations changed? Losing a job may mean you settle for a lower salary but it is a minor setback and the change could mean you land in a better company that will pick up again after the downturn. Weirdly a recession can present positives in the long run: it offers a great learning curve, makes impossible decisions for us and teaches us how to be self-reliant.
The recession has changed the way we think about money so why shouldn’t it also help us rethink our jobs? The time is now to reassess what we can do to benefit from the recession, like learning some new skills if you have been forced to cut hours, trying a new career path or even going it alone and starting a new business. Recalibrating is proactive – act now and see how it benefits you.