It’s impossible to have a workplace without some sort of rules or overarching guidelines. When you need to get results, you need everyone to be on the same page. United. Professional. Motivated. Respectful of another despite any differences, whatever those might be. But when there’s tension and division in the air, a spot of humor can help set things right (at least for a while).
Redditor u/Virule93 went viral on the r/MaliciousCompliance online community after spilling the beans about a hilarious incident at their company involving the profile pics the employees used for their internal site. Scroll down for the full story, in the OP’s own words.
Many offices find it necessary to set out some general guidelines for things like internal use profile photos
Image credits: Mikhail Nilov (not the actual photo)
One worker shared how their colleagues decided to follow the newly introduced rules to the letter, with a malicious compliance spin
Image credits: rawpixel (not the actual photo)
Image credits: Virule93
The events were so hilarious that even HR decided to have a spot of fun
The redditor explained how each employee could change their profile photo and add some sort of flair or icon on top of it, on the company’s internal site. That way, whenever they made an announcement, posted work updates, or commented on anything, everyone could see their name and pic.
What seemed like a spot of good fun eventually turned into bitter political feuding among coworkers. Some people started using the icons to express their ideological views, escalate tension, and get those on the other end of the spectrum all riled up. Others, however, embraced the chaos and changed their photos to anime characters and celebrities.
The situation got so bad that the company’s human resources reps had no choice but to step in. They set out new guidelines, requiring all employees to use a profile photo that was “a clear headshot of the employee on a plain background,” without any other person, animal, flag, or icon visible.
Here’s the thing, though—nobody said that this had to be a recent photo! So, sensing the opportunity to have a good laugh, some employees started setting their profile pics to their photos from when they were babies. The situation was so hilarious and ridiculous that even some members of the HR team did the same.
Employees need to have at least some freedom to express who they are as individuals
You’d be hard-pressed to find any employee who wants to lose all of their individuality and be just another brick in the wall. No matter what your job is, there’s always room for self-expression, good humor, and (dare we say it?) fun. Or at least there should be.
Nobody’s saying that the office should turn into an all-out kindergarten (though all of those consoles, foosball and table tennis tables, and free snacks paint a nuanced picture), but work can’t be all about being grim, super serious, and robotic 24/7/365.
You need to allow your team to take breaks, gossip about their favorite shows at the coffee machine, joke around during lunch, and express their individuality in other ways. Say, by letting them have a bit of freedom when it comes to emojis and profile pics on internal communication networks. Goofing off, to a certain extent, can stimulate creativity, bonding, and ensure that people don’t see their jobs as simply shutting up and doing tasks to get paid, [beep boop must work to survive and do nothing else].
However, unbridled freedom leads to utter chaos. There need to be some common sense limits and boundaries. It’s essential to match up employees’ faces with their names so you know who you’re talking to. (Especially since many folks work remotely full or part-time and you might not meet them in person all that often.) It’s not unfair to ask people to use their actual photos.
Getting along with your coworkers involves being tolerant of different opinions
Meanwhile, we all know just how sensitive topics like politics and religion can be. The fact of the matter is that many people think that they’re in the right, that their personal values are correct, and that everyone else is wrong. This is true independent of their actual views. People don’t enjoy being told that they’re wrong (i.e. they’re psychologically rigid). They do, however, quite like having their beliefs confirmed and being told that they’re right. If we’re right, after all, it must mean we’re respected and loved by others, and valued by the group.
So, naturally, in any bigger organization, you’re going to get some talented and skilled people from incredibly different backgrounds with diverse views and experiences. And though disagreements are bound to occur no matter what you do, so long as everyone’s respectful of these differences in opinion, there’s really no problem: everyone collaborates and focuses on the task at hand.
It’s when people start hyper-fixating on these differences that you can run into some trouble. This can happen during times of crisis, tension, and around important, emotionally charged events like elections. Some workers can forget that their colleagues are actual, thinking, breathing human beings just like them, so they focus on out-debating them instead of agreeing to disagree.
Even though many of us feel the desire to be right (and we are! How dare anyone else think differently?!), the emotionally mature thing to do is to pause, refuse to escalate the debate further, and get on with your work. There’s not much sense in creating even more tension between you and your teammates when you know for a fact that you’ll have to work together for years.
Obviously, you should speak up if someone is being openly derogatory or bullies others. But don’t get so lost in your emotions that you forget others can have different opinions than yours (whatever they might be) in democratically held elections. Take yourself less seriously. Change your profile pic to something silly. Have a good laugh and make everyone giggle!
Some of the readers shared a few thoughts about the hilarious work story
The post Employees Change Their Profile Pics To Their Baby Photos After Company Comes Up With A New Rule first appeared on Bored Panda.