The next time you’re about to apologise to your boss or colleague as a reflex, stop for a second and think. Does your action really need to be said sorry for. If it is, how much will putting yourself through guilt help? Not much. Something that you feel is inappropriate might not be inappropriate for everyone, and your guilt is, therefore, unjustified.
There are some things, however, that you objectively should never feel guilty of doing in the workplace that you might have up till now been apologizing for. Of course, if you miss a deadline or make a mistake at work, guilt is an appropriate emotion, but it’s not always validto feel and express guilt. You might not be sure when to and when not to, so, we’ve summed up the sure-shot situations when absolutely you shouldn’t feel that way:
Here's what you will learn
1. Taking an Off When You Need
One of the big complaints managers have about their employees is that they don’t take the appropriate amount of time off. In some countries, people take time off regularly, and the company encourages it to maintain a progressive culture. Plus, they don’t want people to be burned out, or hating their job. Some companies also offer similar options like weekly work-from-home options to meet the middleground with employees, but not enough.
Nonetheless, many companies treat vacation days as a major taboo causing employees to see them as forbidden, too, and that’s bad. Companies pay you by the hour/day and your employment is consensual, so taking an off should be your call. Companies should have a protocol to offer and handle multiple or irregular vacations such as pay-cuts after a certain amount of leave days.
2. Telling Someone They Have a Bad Idea
Feeling hurt is a genuine and legit emotion to experience in life, but it has no room at the workplace. People sometimes feel scared or doubtful about giving genuine feedback in an attempt to not come off as insensitive. They say they’re okay with things the way they are and that’s harmful for the business, the team’s growth, and most importantly, the employee who they want to criticise. Healthy criticism is one of the most important motivators in the workplace.
When you tell them their idea or work is not great and what, according to you, it lacks, they’ll have a clear picture of what their work shows or maybe you prove a different aspect or perspective that no one has yet explored. When someone does have a bad idea, it’s okay to let them know as long as you’re respectful to them and their work.
3. Cutting Someone out of Work Life
Maybe you don’t like a particular person at work for whatever reason and just can’t stand being around them at work. It’s not that you necessarily despise this person or hate their existence, but you simply can’t get things done when they’re around. Maybe you like having fun at work too, but-damn it, don’t you have any work, Raj?
They can be a colleague, junior, or senior at the office but if you could choose, you’d like to keep your relationship as professional and minimal as possible. You simply want to stay away from them if and when possible, and that’s nothing to feel guilty about.
4. Leaving Early
This one is gonna get controversial, but we still have to talk about it. First things first, it’s not okay to skip work for entertainment and leisure shouldn’t affect your work quality and ethics. That said, if once in a blue moon, you feel like leaving early and you’ve been putting in the hours and efforts, it’s okay to take a break and head home. Let’s say you’ve been finishing your shift and then putting in a half or a full hour extra to finish up the day. If one day you feel like heading home an hour or 2 before your shift is over, you should be able to without any guilt.
The company may or may not take it from your paycheck, depending on different companies’ policies, but when it boils down to how you feel, do not put yourself through any sort of guilt or remorse. You haven’t stolen any time or done any wrong to your company by giving them 2 hours less of the regular working week hours. Leaving early is not the last thing and the company or the task/project you were working on will not come crumbling down if you leave one day a few hours early. So, feeling guilty for it would be meaningless.
5. Competing With Colleagues
I’m not sure we should even bother explaining this, but we didn’t want to miss out on anything and especially not the basics. Competition is healthy for the employees competing since it boosts their numbers and productivity. While the companies enjoy high revenue from these internal competitions, the consequent number of other members also increase and the overall morale increases.
So, if you’re competing for someone over a promotion, additional perks, or better recognition, not only should you stop feeling guilty, the more people you involve the better it is and grows as a sport.
Still Feel Guilty?
Well, you should. But, only if you messed up work, deliverables, or dependency. If your work is good and your ethic is professional, there’s nothing you need to feel guilty for, absolutely not a single thing. Your companies pay you based on your skill and expertise not on terms that you’ll sit in the office at all times, pointlessly.
Be professional in how you communicate and behave in the workplace and do not disrespect anyone no matter how ill-mannered they become. If the situation calls for it, respond appropriately or ignore it altogether, but at no point should you feel guilty of letting such things go.