I’ve heard it discussed whether or not psychologists, sociologists, or philosophers are of any value in the workplace? The fact that people are having these discussions surprises me, because while these may be soft sciences or social sciences, they still yield results which are valuable to society.
While I will agree that philosophy on its own is a tough sell, I think it can find a niche in business. I think if someone were to study philosophy they should do it as a double major with business. Philosophy gives you balance and helps you develop strategies while considering all your options. Philosophy will give you reasoning ability and teach you to think. This is useful in the workplace.
Have you ever given thought to how many people might be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or how many live with the daily fear of being robbed? We need people willing to help people adjust after an adverse event at work happens. People may need assistance from professionals who can offer coping skills for people in very stressful positions where they are fearful for their lives on a daily basis. For example, a taxi driver, prison guard, bank teller, or any job that has inherent risks attached to it.
The workplace can be a really dangerous place with workplace violence, natural disasters, and terrorist attacks. People need to make a living and many will need the benefits that only talking to a psychologist could bring them after having been the victim of one of the three mentioned scenarios. Sociologists need to be encouraged to look at how the work environments has changed and how people have reacted and responded, and philosophers could really do some needed research into ethics and morality in post millennium society. The possibilities for potential studies are endless. It seems important to research these things.
I think there has been so much societal change and we have no idea yet where we will finally end up. We need these professionals around categorizing all the changes taking place in today’s rapidly evolving society. The work that they do benefits all of us and it is important that we do value that. People who bring reforms to the work place in the disciplines of sociology, philosophy, and psychology deserve to be paid as much as their educational counterparts. This is what we really mean by value is it not? Many times that is so. We think something or someone is worth more because of how much they get paid. This unfortunately, has never been a good barometer in the United States for measuring such things. These are usually fields of study that people enter because of an intellectual interest, but this makes these disciplines no less valuable in the workplace.
The workplace is so different today from just twenty-five years ago. Almost six million people say they work primarily from their homes. Research needs to be done on how working regularly from home affects the workers over time. Does working at home ruin someone from returning to a traditional working situation? What about research into the environmental benefits derived by telecommuters? These telecommuters help to reduce global warming, they promote fuel efficiency by not driving at all, and they help reduce the growing traffic congestion problems. Who better to study this than sociologists?
Another area that needs to be studied even further by sociologists and like-minded scientists is work related stress. Employees could use on-site training programs dealing with topics exploring ways of combating workplace related stress, or maybe classes explaining the signs and symptoms of burnout. Why would someone burnout? How about that Blackberry you thought your boss was just being nice about buying you? Well, now he can reach you 24 hours a day. This causes stress we’ve never had before. Yeah, it is great to get the Blackberry but at the same time it comes with a price tag, and the effects on our well-being need to be studied and documented.
Sociology is a good course of study for someone who is interested in working in a multi-ethnic and multinational business environment. In today’s global market there probably will be a need for more people with these skill sets. Someone with a sociology or philosophy degree would probably also be good in the human resource department. As we move forward as a society, we still need to understand how human nature, emotions, relationships, and outside influences play out in the real world. Everyone is connected today and not just at work either. Privacy is another issue of great importance today as well as the new morality. Times are changing so rapidly, and workplace bullying is still an issue.
I think it is time we encourage more people to go into these fields and start making plans about how mankind is going to be managing the work force twenty-five years from now. It is also kind of insulting, because it insinuates that these subjects are no longer credible to most people. This is far from the truth though because studying these subjects and having degrees in them means that you probably have some critical thinking skills, and are used to doing analysis. So this means these skills are kind of transferable if need be.
It is time to start giving the psychologists, sociologists or philosophers that are out in the workplace a hand, instead of doubting that they have any value left in the workplace? Now more than ever we can see that they have value and that they are needed. With such problems as workplace stress, violence and bullying still widespread, you can easily see that more needs to be done. Programs need to be implemented; people need to be encouraged to pursue these subjects as career paths. These professionals really need to know that they are valued by society and that we are thankful for them because their careers do matter.