You've been chosen as a participant in the next "Survivor" show only this show takes place in your office. Do you feel as though you're struggling to survive or are you hoping that you won't be the next one voted off the work island? Apparently you're not alone.
Some 342 professionals recently compared their office environment to "a survivor-type show" when asked by The Nierenburg Group to describe their workplace in terms of a TV program. That's nearly 40 percent of the 900 professionals surveyed by The Nierenburg Group and New York University's Management Institute.
The Nierenburg Group was trying to determine how pop-culture might connect with workplace perceptions given the incredible amount of pink-slip, dot-com-doom parties of late, which have coincided with an increase in the publicity of reality-based shows.
"With the current economic climate, many people are just keeping their heads above water as they face the 'tidal waves' of cutbacks," explains Andrea Nierenburg creator and administer of the survey. "And while the television survivor-type programs are very popular, downsizing and layoffs have put many workers into their own 'survival mode.'"
Indeed, going to work has now become a daily quest to survive for many, she claims. And for those of you surrounded by gossip, rumors or secrets at work, 27 percent of the professionals surveyed believe their offices, too, resemble a soap opera. "That indicated that there may be too much 'drama' in the office, which can affect productivity," Nierenburg explains. "While any office should be working as a team, it's the manager's responsibility to be the best example. He or she must avoid repeating rumors and refrain from office gossip. Even when there are personal disputes between co-workers, supervisors should not get involved unless the office is directly affected."
In response to the total outcome, Nierenberg believes that true job security rests with the individual. Following World War II, people often worked for the same company for their entire lives. However, in the '80s and '90s, the need to "survive" became more prominent. Now, people in large, stable companies, even outside the Web arena, are struggling to keep their futures bright as positions are eliminated.
Nierenberg was not surprised with the outcome of the survey stating, "I did feel that life was imitating art because the survivor shows came before the most drastic drop in the economy."
As you walk into your office tomorrow morning, ask yourself what TV show are you entering? And then ask, "Is that your final answer?" —H.J.