How to Thrive in a Company When Your COVID Perspective Doesn’t Match Your Company’s Stance
COVID-19 has created a multitude of problems that go beyond the virus itself. In addition to massive absences, a transition to remote work and a major employee shortage, the pandemic has become a volatile subject of workplace division and dissension. What if you’re an anti-vaxxer working in an office full of pro-vaxxers? What if the opposite is true? Can your boss force you to do things that go against your religion or your principles? What if your boss threatens to fire you if you insist on working remotely—is that legal?
There are so many questions regarding what to do when your view on COVID is different than that of your employer’s. Unfortunately, the answers are not quite as abundant. One thing is for sure, and that is that differing points of view do not have to destroy your ability to thrive in your company. Employers and employees have been disagreeing on a plethora of issues for centuries, but they can still manage to work together in a harmonious environment. Take a look at these tips that will help you thrive in an organization where your COVID perspective does not line up with your company’s position.
1. Learn the laws
The laws are constantly changing regarding vaccination requirements, wages when working from home, and other COVID-related issues. Company policies tend to be equally mercurial. This can make it difficult to know where you stand in terms of rights and freedoms. However, the more you keep up with the laws and rules, the better prepared you will be to take proactive steps if any of those protocols are violated.
2. Avoid the subject whenever possible
COVID-19 may still be a major topic of discussion in the media two-and-a-half years in, but that does not mean it has to be one in your workplace. When specific issues related to the pandemic arise, they definitely need to be addressed. However, there is no reason for you and your coworkers to discuss your opinions on the issue throughout your day. Keep your water-cooler topics to last night’s game or the new company logo. Volatile subjects you know are going to cause in-fighting, and are not relevant at the moment, should remain in the background.
3. Educate yourself
It is possible your views on COVID differ from those of your employer and your coworkers because of a research differential. Many people base their stance on opinions rather than facts. So whichever way you lean, make sure you are not neglecting due diligence. Gather information from non-biased sources, and weigh out the facts for yourself in an objective manner. Even if your mind doesn’t change, at least you will have the knowledge to make prudent judgments.
4. Don’t go down a slippery slope
Getting trapped in a slippery slope fallacy can happen when you least expect it. Be aware of that trap, and you are more likely to avoid it. According to the Texas State Department of Philosophy, “In a slippery slope argument, a course of action is rejected because, with little or no evidence, one insists that it will lead to a chain reaction resulting in an undesirable end or ends. The slippery slope involves an acceptance of a succession of events without direct evidence that this course of events will happen.”
When it comes to dealing with COVID in an environment that is misaligned with your perceptions, you might be tempted to argue that, for example, the entire company will crumble if people do not come around to your way of thinking. Hyperbole and slippery slope arguments usually do not hold up well in the face of evidence. You are likely to create the exact type of disharmony you are trying to avoid by relying on rhetorical devices. So simply put, just don’t go there.
It's never easy working for or with people who do not share your point of view. However, if everyone had the same mindset, we would be robots, not humans. There is nothing wrong with having a unique perspective, as long as you do not let it interfere with your ability to thrive within your organization.