Why aren't workplaces more humane?

Well, first, how do we know that work isn’t humane?

OK. good place to start. We’ve had work called “shockingly inhumane” by Stanford Business School, which came through in an article called “The Workplace Is Killing People And No One Cares.” (Fun title.) We’ve also got stats about 85% of people globally not liking their job. That’s a bit better than “inhumane,” but not per se much better.

So if we can agree that certainly at least a percentage of jobs are not humane, well, why is that?

This seems like a pressing question of the modern working age. A few arguments I’d say are:

Where is the incentive to be humane? Most people at the top of organizations spend their entire week thinking about prospects and trying to “close” them (not a word that fosters humanity). They look at numbers and spreadsheets and don’t talk to people. And a man who does this and isn’t agreeable with others will earn almost $1M more in their career. So where exactly is the incentive to be humane?

The concept of “being humane” feels very fluffy and soft skill-y: … and business is supposed to be about hard-hitting, ROI, KPI stuff.

All the evidence on the value of being humane seems academic: … and business guys sneer at academia, thinking it’s “Ivory Tower” shit whereby they’re out here doing the real hustle work.

People get overwhelmed by task work and forget to be nice: This is a less-than-stellar possibility, but it does happen.

People view work as a means to an end and little else: So they go home and “be humane” to their family and friends.

What else might you add on the seeming lack of humanity in workplaces?

Brandt FitnessComment