Humanizing the Workplace

By Russell Shurts

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. (John 13:34)

Some days feel like an uphill battle: deadlines are looming, people aren’t delivering their best work, the customer is unhappy, your boss just wants it fixed—even the company culture brings you down. 

Working in the software industry can be exciting, with new things to learn and create every day. Yet, it can also be one of the most faith-adverse places to work. There is often a tendency to lump the people doing the programming together with the machines executing the programs. But, it doesn’t have to be that way.

There are steps we can take to humanize the workplace. To start, we can act with empathy towards everyone we encounter— our coworkers, customers, and superiors. Empathy inspires a recognition that we are all children of God, and that through the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we have a conduit to affect one another through prayer and action. 

For me this means praying for my boss, coworkers, customers, and company. I can ask the Holy Spirit to guide me and to guide them, so that we work to recognize the human dignity in one another and in our work. 

It also means reaching out and learning people’s stories. Where did they come from? What challenges do they face? You can then build on that information to form more meaningful work relationships and a better work environment for everyone. 

Question to Ponder: Do I treat my colleagues as people rather than as tools by which work gets done?

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