In a qualitative study, we asked 238 employees in a variety of industries to explain why they would or wouldn’t accept help from a coworker. From their responses, we identified five key reasons people avoid being helped: preferring to be self-reliant and complete their work on their own, wanting to protect their image, not wanting to feel obligated to return the favor, not trusting their coworkers’ motives, and believing that their coworkers are incompetent.
OK, so let’s parse this out for a second.
- 238 isn’t a huge sample size, no.
- “Preferring to be self-reliant:” work martyr
- “Wanting to protect their image:” quest for relevance
- “Not wanting to return the favor:” Backstabby politics
- “Not trusting motives:” Ditto
- “Believing their co-workers are incompetent:” This is also work in a nutshell
But we need to find the elephant in this little room now. That would be burnout.
Burnout is pretty normative, right?
The main reason is always framed up as “work just keeps piling up.” OK. Got it. Some of that is compete bullshit because people need to be seen as busy, especially because they fear their future job might be taken by a machine.
But now … think on this differently.
What if “work keeps piling up” is because you don’t trust co-workers?
That’s what this study seems to be saying, right?
But another way to consider it is this:
How to burnout less
Short one, but you’s welcome.