Is Your Work Place The Kiss Of Death?

 In Ask The Experts, Daily Column

This morning I was on the Daily telegraph website and I came across an article that revealed BHPs recently released staff requirements, which bans staff from certain actions and behavior.

I thought it was pretty interesting how the mining giant was so controlling,  if not a little rigid in it’s check list of etiquette no nos! Instilling as the Herald called it “A draconian policy”

It got me thinking back to how strict my workplaces have been in the past and what the response from my fellow staff had been like. I’ve mostly worked in creative and flexible working environments, only once did I work for someone that so insanely monitored everyone. I lasted about a month there due to massive anxiety. To this day I still look back on that experience and shudder. And as I recall most of my colleagues worked cautiously and in fear. I just don’t find that acceptable!

Does it really make for a more productive work place when someone is ruling with a hard ironed fist? Do people enjoy coming to work more when they are slapped with rules and regulations as far as the eye can see it? I can’t help but cast my mind back to school days where every moment was dictated by rules, regulations or protocol. As an adult one of the great delights was to shed that.

Telling people they can’t eat at their desk or heaven forbid eat something that ‘emits an odor’, are only allowed one photo frame per desk plus told to watch the volume and tone of their voice seems very stern and almost oppressive.

Now I’m not saying that people should be allowed to do any old thing at work but I think treating people as adults who can make informed decisions is the way to go. Generally most people know how to behave in a work environment right? Things like not slapping your colleagues on the bum to say hello or not leaving your lunch in the fridge for weeks on end or avoiding having loud and overly raucous conversations with your mate Phil about the strippers you saw last weekend. Things such as these are common sense.

Putting out a list of mandatories like BHP has done to a group of adults is in my opinion treating them like children or perhaps even monkeys. Dance monkey dance! It is also creating a very stale and fearful culture where I imagine people feel like they have to tread on eggshells. I personally don’t think this would make for a comfortable place to work every single day.

Take a look at the list BHP is enforcing and tell me what you think. Do you think this is tough but fair? Outrageous? Necessary? And how do you run your work place? Are your staff happy???

Which brings me to my next interesting point which I will leave you to ponder on  -I came across an article ( that talks about the correlation between your workplace, the people you work with and age of death. A new study reveals the powerful impact of the workplace on longevity. The risk of death seems to be correlated with the perceived niceness of co-workers, as less-friendly colleagues were associated with a higher risk of dying.

What sort of workplace are you running?


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Showing 2 comments
  • Daniel

    Are you saying that the chicken that I put in the fridge 3 weeks ago should be thrown away? I thought you were all enjoying the beautiful smell.

    • Julia

      It was indeed rustic, a real treat for the senses.

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