I’m Feeling Overworked and Underappreciated
I’m still working remotely and I feel overworked and underappreciated – how do I talk to my boss?
Overworked and underappreciated? At least you’re in good company. After delivering his fellow Israelites from Egypt, Moses almost got stoned by his fellow Hebrews. For his “far greater labors,” St. Paul was rewarded with “far more imprisonments and countless beatings.” (2 Cor 11:23) Now that’s what I call a tough day at the office – or remote.
You use the word “feel.” Make sure you add “think.” Analyze your situation. Before talking to your boss, ask yourself – Did I feel overworked and underappreciated when I worked onsite? Many remote employees overwork themselves, often for fear of losing their jobs. A friend told me of his unintentional workaholism, caused not by demand, but by his own instinct. He used to leave work for home. Now work moved into his bedroom. Home-sweet-home has become home-sweet-work (or sour if you will). His work cup runneth over.
If that’s not the case for you, and your overwork is undercompensated, you have a justice issue. If you think your labor exceeds your pay, calmly and intelligently make your case. If your pay is boosted, feel the appreciation. If not, you’ve got four choices: grin and bear it (thank God you have a job), set a limit beyond which you won’t work, request to return onsite or seek another job.
Finally, feeling overworked and underappreciated is no fun. And isolation from colleagues reduces that human connection. But it’s better than being underworked and overappreciated. In the first case, you’re showing grit. In the second case, you’re showing shallow.
Jim Berlucchi is co-founder of the Spitzer Center for Visionary Leadership.