When Employers Mandate a ‘Zoom Happy Hour

When Employers Mandate a 'Zoom Happy Hour

In his “Technically Incorrect” column, Chris Matyszczyk shares one employee’s gripe about their new lockdown-incuded online workplace:Writing to New York magazine’s The Cutspecifically workplace advice columnist Alison Greenthe employee expressed frustration about their boss’s so-called Zoom Happy Hours. “These aren’t really happy hours,” the employee says. “They’re more ‘work meetings with alcohol on Zoom,’ and while they’re framed as not ‘technically’ obligatory, they definitely are, and I get pointed comments if I choose to not attend.” Worse, they’re not in actual working hours. Their boss, though, believes everyone’s in lockdown, so what’s the difference…’ This particular boss has decreed the (not really) optional Happy Hour is between 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m… I was struck by new research from the University of Sydney. The academic title is: “Collecting experimental network data from interventions on critical links in workplace networks.” But drift to the press release and you find: “Benefits of team-building exercises jeopardized if not truly voluntary.” Lead researcher Dr. Petr Matous described the situation quite baldly: “Many workers told us that they despise team building activities and see them as a waste of time.” The researchers recommend employers try to encourage a good relationship between two employeesbut to let them ultimately work it out for themselves. And Matyszczyk believes this approach makes even more sense on Zoom. “If you’re on a Zoom Happy Hour with, say, 50 people, there’s still only one actual conversation. Even if you want to participate, it’s hard to get a word in and have it instantly understood, never mind appreciated.” That is, unless your boss decides to distribute all the online Happy Hour participants into smaller “breakout rooms”…Read more of this story at Slashdot.
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