Unhappy At Work But Doing Nothing About It? This New Label's For You

Feeling unhappy and unfulfilled is not a new phenomenon in the workplace, but there’s a new word for it: resenteeism.

Yep, it’s 2023′s twist on presenteeism (where you still turn up to work just to show willing, but you’re either not very productive or actually rather ill).

Pre-pandemic, a survey found more than 80% of workers said presenteeism was a real issue in their workplace. The term then grew in popularity during lockdown, as people began to question why they used to go into work when they were sick as it ended up reducing everyone’s productivity.

Now, three years later, there’s a new term on the block. Resenteeism has been coined by staff management software provider, RotaCloud, to describe when someone is hugely frustrated by their current situation – but is still working.

Like presenteeism – where the habit (or sickness) spreads around the office – RotaCloud suggests resenteeism, as a mood in general, can be catching.

This sense of employee resentment could come down to a range of reasons, from job insecurity or due to a lack of new opportunities within your current role – but according to RotaCloud, it’s mainly due to the “great resignation”.

This was when the pandemic saw a huge shift in UK employment as workers suddenly left their jobs en masse.

Those who remain behind may now feel overworked or undervalued, especially if companies are still short-staffed.

The Office for National Statistics’ latest data – from 2021, but released in December – reveals that only 55% of UK employees think they have had good opportunities for career progression.

In January last year, Indeed’s Work Happiness Score found more than one third of UK employees are unhappy in their jobs.

And, over the past 12 months, the threat of a recession has grown alongside the worsening cost of living crisis, meaning worries about how to pay the bills leave workers too afraid to move jobs.

This trend of frustration comes after the waves of apathy seen in the explosion of “quiet quitting”, where you just do the bare minimum at your job. There was also the subsequent trend in 2022 to “let it rot”, which originated in China, and was described as “leaning into self-indulgence and open decay and away from life expectations that seem neither meaningful nor attainable”.

On top of that, the huge number of public sector workers who are striking (or at least considering industrial action) is making everyone question whether they are being truly valued in the workplace. And, of course, the seismic impact of Beyonce advising us all to “release ya job” needs to be considered too.

If you’re feeling the resentment though, don’t worry – these are some of the things you can do to alleviate it, according to RotaCloud.

Five steps to tackle resentment in your job

1. Communicate with your manager or HR and explain your dissatisfaction

2. Consider what you need from your job to make you feel happy, and discuss your career plan, work-life balance and job satisfaction with your manager

3. Take care of your physical and mental health

4. Keep an eye out for other opportunities

5. Remember that your job can just be a job, it doesn’t have to be all-consuming

It also falls to your employer to tackle. Head of people at RotaCloud, Pam Hinds, said that it’s important for companies to encourage honesty, allow workers to have adequate time off and to support them through a “culture of positivity”.