Even as children, the moment we are restricted we do not like it. As teens we turn into rebels without a cause. Then in the workplace when restrictions are enforced we gather in the shady confines of our cubicles to grumble about it!
There are those who would say that freedom at the workplace should not be curtailed and others who will extol the virtue of discipline. The truth however is that what we need is balance! Not easy to maintain when it is required while maintaining all the various aspects that dictate a work area.
Some restrictions are good:
- Switching off or silencing mobile phones- Not only are they distracting for others but they also hamper the productivity of the owner.
- Being fined for habitual absence or late coming
- Restricting smoking to a specific area
- Restricting use of office resources such as internet to just tasks that are related to the work at hand
Others are ridiculous
- Maintaining a log of an employee’s bathroom breaks
- Restricting access to even work related internet usage
- Demanding a doctors certificate for a single days sick leave
- Not allowing employees to interact unless it is strictly work related
More often than not, a wise employer will have a rationale behind any restriction. They will also have a redressal system in place to respond to any claim of unjustified restriction. What most employees fail to grasp is that almost half of all restrictions are put into place because someone has abused the freedom previously extended. While it is true that the whole team should not suffer for a single person’s error, it must also be remembered that a single apple can make the barrel rot.
Therefore it is best to maintain a balance of discipline and freedom to achieve the highest potential at the workplace.