Do you Want to Get Rid of Office Politics? A Shift to Co-working may be a probable solution. Office politics is an easy tool for people who don’t work hard but still want to thrive on the cost of other workers in any professional workplace. When a group of people work on a concept or a project, they compete to excel as they all want credit for its successful implementation. The performance of each matters for periodic appraisal which further decides incentives, salary appreciation and promotion. So the rivalry to score over others is quite natural in any conventional office set-up.
If the competition is fair and purely based on individual performances, it leads to fair appraisal. But ideally, it doesn’t happen in any traditional organisation, mainly, because of office politics.
Contrary to that, a co-working space, where professionals either belong to different organisations or work independently, promotes a culture of cooperation and mentoring. The whole concept of co-working rests on the principle of sharing knowledge and expertise rather than cutting each other’s throat for survival.
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Various surveys show that in a traditional office set-up, a substantive percentage of people, instead of putting their best efforts at the assignment, love to indulge in various tools of office politics that can earn them undue importance before the senior managers.
Such workers fuel the rumour mill to their advantage, lobby aggressively for their ideas, manipulate the situation to get ahead or try to align with the senior managers to become their informers. Office politics impacts the overall productivity of an organisation and disturb the professional atmosphere.
Co-working reduces unhealthy professional rivalry & office politics
Professional rivalry ensues office politics among employees who have a common goal to achieve using the same set of resources. This stems from the fact that organisations assess their achievements in every quarter, which keeps employees under pressure to perform all the time. Most of the companies measure its success by the profit they make every quarter rather than the means it adopts to achieve that target. “Do whatever you can but show me the result” is the common lingo.
Healthy competition is always good to enhance employee’s performance, but too much emphasis on performance and quick results encourage employees to look for unethical means to survive in the organisation. Some employees, who don’t find themselves competent enough to achieve the assigned target, scapegoat other workers for an easy excuse for their failures. They exploit every possible means to be in good books of their senior managers. They flourish on the cost of genuine workers, and often the top performers of the organisations are victimised.
The collaborative culture in a co-working space doesn’t leave any scope for an employee to indulge in unethical practices for survival. Self –motivated freelancers or employees from different organisations work in co-working spaces, and this sort of gathering does have an impact and influence on other workers. The high level of cooperation reduces professional friction and avoids a blame-game like situation.
Co-working encourages employee’s focus on business objectives
In any traditional office set up, immediate differences among employees flare up, and a lot of good workers find it difficult to handle such situation in calm or composed manner. Impulsive employees, even if they are top performers in the organisations, are trapped in such situation. They indulge into an emotional debate to prove that they deserve the credit, but it goes against them.
On the other hand, non-performers know how to exploit such situation in their favour. However, if the approach is focused on objectives of the business – which co-working encourages employees to do – professional conflicts don’t snowball into a big issue. Co-working disengages employees from petty issues and resistance. There can be occasions, like a traditional office, when differences occur among employees on professional issues but the collaborative environment in a co-working space takes prominence over personal grudges and helps shifts focus to business objectives.
Co-working turns non-performers into performing assets
A non-performer loves to rely on office politics because that’s the only way for him to survive in the organisation. Such workers know how and when to blow their trumpet about whatever little they have achieved.
Recent surveys, conducted by various staffing or human resource companies, show that the percentage of people who love to engage in office politics is very small, but its consequences are big. 30% to 40% employees feel that gossiping and engaging in office politics hurt the professional objectives of the organisation.
Another study, published in the Academy of Management Journal, the flagship empirical journal in management for scholars, says that as the office politics increases in an organisation, the stress and strain goes up, there is decreased job satisfaction and greater intent to leave the organisation. Also, job performance decreases as and more, and more people perceive that the organisation is infested with politics.
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Another interesting research shows that organisational politics forces even the top performers to engage in unethical activities while compromising on their office work because they tend to realise office politics as the most potent tool for survival.
But that’s not the case in a co-working space. In fact, it just the reverse that happens here. A non-performer tends to become a performer due to the surroundings. When non-performers are shifted in an environment where they meet self-driven entrepreneurs in a professionally engaged state of affairs, they get little or almost no opportunity to resort to office politics to thrive in. So either they become a part of performing lot or simply leave the organisation.
The power of sharing knowledge and co-operation is much more than the negative energy that petty office politics generates and one can experience this while working in a collaborative workspace. One of the reasons for enhanced productivity in a co-working space is that it leaves little or no scope for unethical practices like office politics.
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