Inclusion in the Workplace: A Perspective
After working in a busy newsroom for the past four years, I understand how stressful it can be to get cramped into a room with a bunch of other people. I usually arrive at 10:00 a.m. and leave (on good days) around 9:00 p.m. On bad days I don’t get out of there until midnight. It doesn’t take much to get drained by that time and it’s the same story for a lot of people in other workplaces.
I also know that it can be difficult to make the accommodations necessary to placate everyone, especially when there’s a larger team involved. But to include everyone is the gateway to making things easier for everyone – you included.
I’m not just talking about including people on group projects or on decisions that you make. These can be great ways to let your team know that you care about their opinion and want to work with them, sure. But the added benefit is a mutual respect forming because they now know that you appreciate them enough to ask for their opinion. And two heads are better than one in certain situations, which is why it’s good to include others. To include those you work with on other smaller activities as well (even something small as lunch) allows for a stress-free environment when you guys get to know one another.
But, of course, there are always those who will push your buttons. I’ve had it happen. Everyone knows the story: regardless of what it is sometimes people just don’t click. And that’s okay. But what’s important to remember is that airing dirty laundry in a workplace is unprofessional and a sure fire way to stress you out along with any involved. Many bosses have said it and it is good advice: you don’t have to be best friends but you have to be professional. It may really difficult to include these people in a project or to work with them but it’ll be easier for you to just stick it out because they’re not the only person you work with. If they continue to cause any serious issues, speak to someone.
With greater issues like those who are struggling with their mental health, any physical ailments, or issues at home, it’s obviously important to include them as well. These are the people that you work with and regardless of whether or not you’re fond of them or understand their struggles; everyone has their own thing to deal with. To respect people’s individual issues and to not get involved in said issues keeps you at an advantage to be able to work with co-workers and to not carry any extra baggage home.