- Employees are negatively affected by the blurring of their personal and professional lives, according to The 2019 Workplace Boundaries Report by Udemy.
- Two thirds of the 1,000 workers surveyed said their employers should not allow workers to bring their pets to work. More than half of respondents said hugging should not be part of a professional workplace, that workers should not bring their children to work and that athleisure clothing is not appropriate work attire, according to a press release announcing the findings.
- The report also showed that social media blurs boundaries by making respondents (46%) feel pressured to respond to accept colleagues' friend requests. Most respondents keep their social media profiles confidential because they don't want to be followed by co-workers.
Several factors are making the workplace less formal, inviting its inhabitants to share more with their colleagues, according to Udemy HR VP Cara Brennan Allamano. "With open floor plans, always-on communication, social media, and casual workplaces, today's employees feel increasing pressure to share more with their coworkers, often leading to crossed boundaries," she said in a media release.
As the workplace relaxes, the changes will likely spur disagreements between workers, as the Udemy survey highlighted. For example, 62% of respondents in Udemy's survey said they don't believe employees should bring their children to work, yet that's exactly what some employers are allowing workers to do, framing the offering as a progressive benefit. The arrangement doesn't just benefit parents of small children; employers also have something to gain, Carla Moquin, founder of Parenting in the Workplace Institute, previously told HR Dive. "Companies benefit from this program, too, because the parent invests in doing the job well to make the arrangement work," said Moquin. "They're so grateful to have this time with their child, and a paycheck, and be physically present in career."
HR will need to rely on managers to help build and maintain a healthful, productive work environment, even amid the many changes. But training may be necessary: A VitalSmarts report released in March found that three-quarters of employees think managers have flaws that may make them incapable of leading their teams through boundary issues, changing norms, workplace misconduct and other disruptions. HR can prepare managers to cope with change and help employees adapt.