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5 Work Things We Need To Leave Behind in 2022

New year, new you. This year let’s make it ‘new year, new workplace norms’.

Out with the old, outdated, tired norms that were never working for us anyway. 

The rules / norms are fake. They were made up by companies/ employers (not employees)… and it shows. 

Here are 5 work things we need to leave behind in 2022 that are not working for us: 

1. Pay Secrecy

If pay secrecy is present, pay discrimination is probably taking place. 

Pay secrecy is just another medium for companies to further create inequities. Any other reason for pay secrecy  is… confusing at best.

If the salary is competitive, share it. If there’s a reason for someone to be paid more, share it. If there’s rationalization behind it, people can understand and follow the logic. If there are pay differences for specific, logical, measurable reasons, that can be understood.

But too often there’s no explanation. Frequently it’s uncovered that there isn’t a reason behind pay differences. The methods behind pay differences can’t be fully explained in many scenarios and the underlying reason is often (conscious or unconscious) bias.

To reduce pay discrimination, eliminate pay secrecy & implement pay transparency. 

Pay Transparency Laws

We’re seeing many new laws passed that support pay transparency. “Roughly 1 in 4 U.S. workers now live in a place where employers are required to share pay ranges by law” (Liu, 2023). This is a win for workers. 

Cities and states as of 2023 include: Cincinnati, Ohio, Colorado, Connecticut, Ithaca, New York, Jersey City, New Jersey, Maryland, Nevada, New York City, Rhode Island, Toledo, Ohio, Washington, WestChester County, New York (Liu, 2023). 

Pay secrecy is a priority within the work things we need to leave behind.

2. Incremental pay increases not matching inflation

The norm of the 2-3% annual pay adjustment was based on historical rates of inflation.

Now that inflation has far surpassed that rate, the annual pay adjustments need to surpass it too. 

But they haven’t.

The good news is that annual pay adjustments have increased. The not so good news is that the adjustments have not kept up with inflation.

The average increase hovered around 4.8%, up 2 percentage points from the typical 3%. While it is an uptick, it did not match the inflation rate that hovered around 9%. The outlook for the year 2023 appears like it may trend down to 4% from 4.8%, another loss for workers trying to keep up with inflation (CNBC, 2022).

To learn more about the difference between pay adjustments and raises, check out this post:
How to Ask Your Boss For a Raise: 3 Tips


Prices have gone up due to inflation, but pay hasn’t matched it. Wasn’t that the former “rule” — what happened to the “rules”?? The “rule” of an annual adjustment matching inflation went out the window as soon as it was inconvenient for businesses to pay it. 

What makes it a harder pill to swallow is that companies had record high profits, “70 year high”, in the past year among many companies (Ben Werschkul, August 2022).

Incremental pay increases not matching inflation is absolutely one of the work things we need to leave behind. Byeee.

3. Overworking

Overworking is out. 

Over the past couple of years, burnout rates have reached new heights despite rhetoric and initiatives to curb it. 

“Burnout at work was supposed to get better. It hasn’t” (Molla, 2022). Close to half the workforce feels burnt out (Molla, 2022). 

Reassess the work week

Some trial initiatives include 4-day work weeks to improve employee well-being which in turn positively impact health. It may seem assumptive, but happy employees work better, and that’s demonstrated in profits for the company too. 

“Five eight-hour days are less productive than four for a variety of reasons. They lead to burnout… They lead to increased turnover in jobs…” (Hirsch, 2022).

Meanwhile, “Studies in Japan and New Zealand and the U.K. and in Iceland found that working fewer hours also improves workers’ health and well-being, reduces stress and burnout and ups the hours that people sleep, which, of course, makes everything better.” (Hirsch, 2022).

Let’s make everything better. 
Overworking is out. Productive, strategic work is in.

Overworking is undoubtedly one of the work things we need to leave behind.

4. Company loyalty 

Not much needs to be said about this topic. Throughout December (2022) and January (2023), tens of thousands of workers have been let go from tech jobs and beyond.

The once highly sought after name-brands that everyone wanted to work for with the coolest perks have just laid off their workforce in cold blood for the “good of the profitability” of the company.

No more selling your soul for corporate work life. 

Companies are showing us their character. Take note.

Company loyalty is very obviously one of the work things we need to leave behind.

5. Being rewarded for good work with 1) more work and 2) pizza. 

Don’t even mention the word pizza. Don’t do it. I don’t want a mug either. 

This one goes without explanation. It’s self explanatory.

Being rewarded for good work with MORE work and/or pizza is positively one of the work things we need to leave behind.

Honorable mentions of work things we need to leave behind:

  • 8 hour work days (let it be over! Studies show fewer hours are working)
  • 2 day weekends – make it 3. It’s time. 
  • having to ask permission for time off. 
  • lack of family leave policies.

These outdated norms are just a few of a long list of work things we need to leave behind.

The rules are fake. 

The time off “rules”, the percentage of CEO to employee pay “rules”, the minimum wage “rules”, the 8 hour work day “rules”, the yearly review / raise “rules”, the 5 interview process “rules”, the cover letter “rules”, the 5 day work week 2 day weekend “rules”, the layoff for pforitability’s sake rules…. fake, fake, fake. 

The rules are fake. Create your own. 

Out with the old, outdated, tired norms that were never working for us anyway. 

What would you add? 

*If you enjoyed this post, you’ll probably enjoy: Workplace & Hiring Norms That Need to Be Retired


*Article: “Inflation is coming down. Here’s what that means for your annual pay raise” (CNBC, 2022)
Author: Eric Rosenbaum

*Article: “Burnout at work was supposed to get better. It hasn’t” – Vox
Author: Rani Molla, 2022

*Article: “Companies aren’t just raising prices enough to cover costs, they’re padding their margins on top” – Business Insider 
Authors: Dominick Reuter and Andy Kiersz, December 2021

*Article: “Corporate profits are at a 70-year high. Will the Inflation Reduction Act change that?” – Yahoo Finance 
Author: Ben Werschkul, August 2022

*Article: “Economist explains record corporate profits despite rising inflation” – NPR 
Author: MICHEL MARTIN, February 2022

*Article: “Where U.S. Companies have to share salary ranges with workers by law” (CNBC, 2023)
Author: Jennifer Liu

*Article: “The UK is undergoing the largest trial of a four day work week and less may be more” (NPR, 2022)
Authors: Paddy Hirsch, Wailin Wong

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