10 Important Things You Should Not Be Afraid To Ask For From Your Work Place

The fields of employment have multiplied, and so has the exposure. Our society is waddling its way into Capitalism. The population of workers are saddled with more stress than is good for any of our organs. Despite the anxiety-ridden circus of a professional life, Human Rights is more in discussion than ever. It has caused the HR department to be more involved in work ethics than ever before. This is the prime time to learn of all the things you have the right to ask for, in your work place.


Adequate payment

A certain kind and quality of work is worth a certain amount of money. Since there are no standard rules, or constitutional procedures that dictate the specific amount, employees are shamelessly exploited.

It is well within your rights, to ask for the money your work deserves. If they are paying you less than your colleague, then strut to the HR. If they are undermining your skill-set because you’re a woman, then file a complaint. If they aren’t paying you at all, then shut the damn place down.

Physical and emotional boundaries

When you spend more than half of your day staring at the faces of the same people, you end up bonding (or hating them fervently). However, irrespective of the number of drinks you share, you have the right to ask for boundaries. There are only too many people who prey on their colleagues for romance, or emotional gratification. Saying, “Hey, I really need to work”, or, “You’re making me uncomfortable”, are perfectly valid responses to co-workers who outstay their welcome.

Not being forced to bring your job home

Name ONE sitcom based in an office environment, that does not show its characters working the cases at home. I hate to break it to you, but it only looks lucrative on screen. Irrespective of the love you have for your job, one cannot possibly ask you to indulge in a work-project beyond the office hours.

It is advisable to make this amply clear in the very beginning of your term. Once you start giving in to insensitive demands like these, there is no going back. I learned this the hard way, by which I mean, an anxiety disorder, and an unhappy mother.

Respect: Irrespective of your gender and/or job position

In this century, you don’t need me to tell you that discrimination is a crime. If you are being excluded from projects, or being denied a raise, because of your gender identity, then you need to raise a battle-cry. Your capability, skill-set, interests, et al, have no umbilical cord tracing them to your genitals. It is your responsibility to speak out.

If you are treated as an ‘inferior’ because of your social standing, or position in the job hierarchy, you should bring the bully to justice. I don’t care if one is a peon, or a tea vendor. All human beings deserve respect, and humane behaviour.

An environment that isn’t out to kill you

The last decade has witnessed a massive change in how we view the workplace. Erstwhile, the word ‘office’ could be immediately linked to a bunch of chairs, tables, a coffee machine that worked on your lucky days, and a stream of human heads boring into paperwork. While most TCS offices still follow that age-old rule of monotony, most organisations in this day, invest a lot of effort into making the office a feel-good environment. I am not encouraging you to expect plush carpets, swings, bean bags, or a rotating chocolate fountain. But if your desk-mate is a rat named Simon, and the office-walls make you want to kill yourself, then RUN.

Politeness, if not friendly behavior

I know Darwin propagated the whole concept of “survival of the fittest”, but nobody wants to go to work in the Hunger Games. The Human Resources department should have ample control over dispelling a negative atmosphere in the office. Your colleagues do not have to act like your mother, your therapist, or your imaginary lover. But it is professional courtesy to be polite. All I am saying is, we left ‘bullying’ back in school (where it never should have been). You have every right to demand that your co-workers behave like adults.

Holidays

I always hated it when my father had to work through Durga Puja. It might not be a huge deal outside, but a Kolkata-based office, employing a Kolkata-based man, and denying him the basic rights of Durga Puja pandal-hopping, is plain torture. There were also incidents when Baba got called into work on his off-days. I have seen so many of our holiday plans decimate, simply because my parents’ respective bosses granted a holiday, and then took it away. They suffered through it silently, but you don’t have to. Adequate rest is important in a hypertension-driven professional life.

If you are a woman, you should also look into implementing the ‘period leave’ which gives you a holiday on the first day on your menstruation, every month.

Finding inspiration

Always choose to work in a space that inspires you. If you are surrounded by uninteresting ideas, and monotonous patterns, your work will suffer heavily. Being around people who have the ability to inspire you, is an ideal work environment. Working, in itself, is also a form of education, since you get to learn a plethora of new things from your colleagues and superiors. Always choose a workplace that helps you grow, instead of limiting your potential.

Punctuality

I have been to meetings where the host arrived two hours late. I have also rushed to ‘urgent’ meetings, and sat in an empty room, waiting for my boss to arrive. The rule is to respect others’ time, and have yours respected in return. In this economy, we are running on giddy competition, and stressful deadlines. Your time is a resource you can use to churn magic and money. Don’t allow slackers to waste it. When dealing with unpunctual colleagues, take radical measures. It will help you keep your sanity.

Letting your ideas breathe

Remember Dice Media’s ‘Adulting’ S01E04 ‘On My Way’? Ray was constantly told off by her boss, who refused to let her have her own project, even though she clearly deserved a chance. This is a common scenario in several workplaces. The ‘Boss’ generally waits a couple of years before they open their ears to your suggestions. Sadly, we are too qualified, and way too poor to devote that much time to running useless errands. Luckily for you, workplaces are more accepting, now. So, do yourself a favour and find one where your voice will actually be heard.

To sum it up, if you feel like your office is being unfair to you, then do something about it. The time of ‘silently accepting’ whatever your boss spews, is gone. Stand tall, and demand professional rights which suit the century you exist in.