Office Poilitics: Do co-workers really care?


Do co-workers really care about their other colleagues? Or is it just a calculative move based on the roles, designation, and power one holds in the company. A workplace can be assumed as an artificial incubator where people from diverse backgrounds, opinions, and preferences are kept together to work towards a common business objective. And, all enjoy the same policies, process, facilities, and opportunities. But does this togetherness is a strong enough cohesive force to make people besties and genuine well-wishers? If you think, Yes, then think again!

Research shows that there may be very less percentage of co-workers in the office which has no qualms to share how they feel about you. But the major chunk prefers to play diplomatically in order to maintain their image and secure their career. Actually, everything in office revolves around the end-result. Things move from cubicles to board room based on self-interest and maths of profit and loss of alliances. Here are few examples which showcase the kind of actions or reactions we receive from our colleagues throughout the day in different scenarios, which indicates how power and position plays a major and influential role on sentiments towards our colleagues:

WhatsApp trend: Are you part of any office chat group in Whatsapp? If you are, then you may have observed the trend I am going to explain here or possibly you may have been a victim of it sometime. If a senior from the group, who holds an important position and power to influence the status and stature of other team’s members, post a message or a send a forward. Immediately all the subordinates wake up and get in a race of posting their response or showcasing their knowledge and understanding on the shared topic. Whereas, if a person who has recently joined the team at the entry level, posts a message or forward, it seems as everyone internet bandwidth goes too low to even acknowledge it.

Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter acceptability: Similar to Whatsapp, any post in these social media by the team’s influential members will see a sudden surge in the likes, comments, and share, irrespective of how much relevance it makes to the one’s taste. Showing an acceptable and positive attitude toward the post becomes an obligation whereas anything posted by an “ordinary” team member gives a choice to others to express their opinions on it or simply ignore. Similarly, the acceptability of friend requests these platforms is no exception.

Sudden drift in posture, communication style: This is usually observed in the work cafes or when people are casually chit chatting at their desk. In middle of that fun sharing, if an influential member joins, you will immediately see a change in the topics, facial expressions. And, an increase in fake laughs and yes man attitude to all his/her inputs. People start behaving as they care the most for that person and in sync with what he/she is saying.

Selective information sharing: The group or people which are assumed as a close knit to the team’s influential member, act as a gate keeper of the information. In order to hold their importance as a key ally of the boss, they don’t hesitate to empathize with their honey coated words to spy on the opinions and the way things are drifting in the lower level. To ensure their acceptability at both the levels, they pass down the filtered information of higher management to gain the confidence in the lower group but with an intention to strengthen their position with the boss of the team.

More acceptability of subtle folks: Everyone in the office is working with an objective to get a decent hike and recognized at the end of financial year. But if you want to gain the acceptability, balance the aggression you have. Usually, the people who act subtly are assumed more approachable and picked more often by the bosses as they find them more acceptable compare to aggressive people. How much ever you dedicatedly work and focus on setting the things right, if you see things only black and white, it will be very difficult to make an entry in the group of influential people. So all the people who are successful in making a step closer to the leads are those who act subtle and play smart.

Conclusion: Core lesson from the office dynamics mentioned above is that all the privileges, advantages one person receive in his or her life are not for the person, but for the position he/she holds. As we grow in our career and achieve higher designations, we get honored with all the best treatments and gestures, but it is until the time we hold the position as we move on, it will be honored to the person who will replace us. But until that time, if one has to live and sail through the office politics, it is important to learn and understand the way things changes in offices with designations.

Leaving you here with a video which I receive as a Whatapp forward. It epitomizes how the world is hypnotized with the power and position. Happy to hear your views and know if you have come across something similar. Please share your experience in the comment box.




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