We heard it millions of times; Don't bring your personal life to work. It is more like; Don't bring your work home!
It is delusional to think that private life affects work more than work situations impacting private lives. People's lives are ruined by toxic workplaces.
I have seen people developing anxiety and panic attacks or getting their self-esteem ruined to the ground. I have seen people's marriages and relationships with their children negatively impacted by work.
I have seen people becoming depressed, alcoholics or drug addicts due to work pressure.
We have seen people being burned out walking around like zombies.
We have seen people lose their hair or commit suicide due to toxic work environments, unreasonable expectations, unfair treatment or work overload.
Once, I spent a year of my life eaten up by work that impacted everyone around me, and I am not the type who gets easily impacted or tangled up in things.
As I am discussing with a company about changing their values, yesterday I wrote this down as a joke: Value #1 Work Shouldn't Make You Unhappy. Today, I don't think it is a joke.
Work can seriously impact people's lives, which I have not witnessed the other way around. So why don't we talk about this?
Why don't we have the conversation like this;
If you are in a job that is harming you in any way, it could be that you don't like the job or are in a toxic, abusive environment you need to get out.
But you would say, "I'll just do a few years for the money, and I will leave". You must understand that going through years of misery will negatively impact the same people you are suffering for to provide. You will not come out as the same person after being in a soul-killing environment for years.
I know that sometimes, we need to do what we need to do and have no choice. That's life. But you'll need at least to understand the impact and consequences of your actions.
As for the employers, why don't your well-being agendas include conversations, leadership development and work design around the impact of work on private life?