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stuck in the office

stuck in the office

Every morning when Chu Hang opens his eyes, he struggles with the thought of “or should I take the day off?” then he lazily walked to the bathroom, smiled in front of the mirror, murmured words of encouragement.

Each time, the self-motivation screen usually lasts a few minutes, reviewing the benefits of work such as: having an income to cover life, being insured, having a bonus at the end of the year. After taking a deep breath, Hang, 31, an employee of a telecommunications company in Hanoi, has just left home to go to work.

It was like this in the morning, but at night, I often lost sleep. High pressure and busy work make her not have much time for her family, herself bored with work “to the extreme”.

But Hang can’t bring himself to quit his job because it’s hard to find a higher salary with a similar job. Leaving work means that the family will be more difficult, the children’s school plans are ruined.

“But will I be like this for the rest of my life?” she asked herself many times even though she knew there was no answer.





prisoners in the office

Chu Hang worked from home one weekend in March 2023. Image: supplied characters

Hoang Vinh, an employee of a media company in Ho Chi Minh City, often has to leave early and return late, constantly receiving calls on weekends, holidays or at midnight. His life almost revolves around work, with no time for other needs. Lately, he has often been in conflict with his superiors. Every time he lost KPI, he was pressured to even listen to disrespectful words.

“In times of intense conflict with my boss, I think about quitting,” Vinh said. However, the 40-year-old admits that despite being depressed, things are hard to turn around because career opportunities shrink with age, while the financial burden on the family remains.

About 8% of workers worldwide have or are in the same situation as Chu Hang and Hoang Vinh, according to a survey by Aon Hewitt, a US-based global human resources outsourcing and consulting company. They are bored with their current job, stuck and lose motivation but don’t quit. This feeling may be temporary or last until you change jobs.

A survey by OfficeTeam (the global human resources company Robert Half, USA) indicated that office workers are often bored for about 10.5 hours a week.

Aon Hewitt used the word “prisoner” to describe people who are stuck in a job they hate but can’t quit. They may find another job, but they don’t want to do it because they think there are no opportunities or they feel that they are paid more than they earn.

According to Dr. Do Minh Cuong, deputy director of the Institute of Entrepreneurial Culture (Vietnam Entrepreneurial Culture Development Association), workers’ needs are divided into 5 levels: Physiological needs (eating, clothing, place of residence) expressed in terms of of salary; Security needs (insurance, work in a fully equipped environment); Social needs (having relationships); The need for esteem and the need for self-actualization.

“Everyone has different levels of job needs. Once the need is not met, it’s easy to get depressed,” Mr. Cuong said.





Prisoners in the office - 1

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is a motivational theory in psychology, which consists of a 5-level pyramid model that represents natural human needs that develop from the basics to the top. Illustration: hocvalam.edu.vn

Working in the field of human resources for 17 years, Ms. Thanh Huong, head of the HR policy and planning department of a company that owns more than 20 brands in Vietnam, said that is another reason why Employees cannot take time off. Depressed is the mindset of being afraid of change.

“Staying in a safe zone for a long time can easily breed laziness and lose courage to break through. Out of habit, fear of change, fear of being left behind, even if job needs are not met, they still accept it.” . reality,” said Ms. Huong.

Accepting reality but boredom causes Chu Hang to suffer from mental stress, not sleep well, and sometimes even have nightmares. Because her body is tired, she is easily angered, her husband and her children often suffer from unreasonable shouting matches.

Not just the family, the ill effects of boredom and fatigue also affect work in general. In recent months, Hang has been at the bottom of the staff ranking consecutively, affecting the entire department. The company has just had a rationalization of personnel, merger of divisions, its superiors intend to transfer it to another department but nobody wants to accept it. “In the near future, there is a possibility that I will be transferred to a completely new job, the salary and bonus will be reduced significantly,” Hang shared.

The inner torment also affected Hoang Vinh for a long time. Negative emotions like low self esteem no one can help him make this man feel hopeless at times. Not having enough spirit to work as hard as before, Vinh continued to work, but Vinh’s mind was no longer focused on work. He did enough responsibilities, he didn’t work hard, on vacation he turned off all communication channels.

As a result, while the colleagues get a raise and a promotion, Vinh remains a common and mediocre employee in the company. The recent personnel review, his name is on the list to consider, worst case scenario he will be fired.

According to Ms. Thanh Huong, employees who have a negative work attitude do not make progress, work efficiency is definitely not guaranteed, which affects the collective. This attitude is even contagious, demoralizing, creates dull energy, and reduces overall performance. These staff make the business very uncomfortable, firing is not enough, but retaining is not good.

In this case, the manager must find out the cause, listen to the concerns of the employees, such as remuneration, salary, and bonuses or promotion opportunities to evaluate and consider. Once the problem is solved and the attitude towards work remains unchanged, it is necessary to warn about the consequences.

Do Minh Cuong advises that in order for your state of mind not to negatively affect your work, you need to clearly define your career goals. Work has accompanied the life of each person for at least 30 years, so a balance between work, life and satisfaction must be achieved. An employee who is bored in this company, goes to another company for a while, will repeat the same feelings. Therefore, the key is how to overcome that, recover the desire to work.

Experts recommend that when depressed, employees should suppress their negative emotions, remember the happy days that work brought them, and at the same time set new goals as motivation. For example, reward yourself with an end-of-year trip or buy something of great value if you hit a KPI or get a raise.

The second thing to do is talk directly with your supervisor or the appropriate department about your feelings of unhappiness and frustration at work. Being honest about your experience and giving specific examples of what makes you unhappy is the best way to deal with that frustration. The next thing is to discuss with the manager what he is looking for in the path of professional development for a new motivation.

If all else fails, explore other growth opportunities at the company or look for a new job that better aligns with your values ​​and career goals, even if you have to change fields.

“Everybody goes through a dead end phase in their career. Instead of reflecting on whether or not to change jobs, it is better to look at yourself, think about what you want to do, the path you want to follow and make a decision. decision,” Mr. Cuong advised.

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